There’s a lot of buzz around red light therapy as a natural treatment for a huge variety of physical conditions.
It is well-known for anti-aging but what about men's testosterone levels and fertility? Can it help?
In this article, we’ll explore the benefits. We’ll also talk about safety and usage guidelines when it comes to using red light therapy for the testicles.
Does Red Light Therapy Boost Fertility?
Infertility affects one in six people worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. Half of infertility cases occur in men. This is often due to low testosterone levels and other factors that can adversely impact sperm count and cause low sperm motility.
Red light therapy has both physical and psychological benefits that could help improve fertility.
Treatment uses specific wavelengths of visible and invisible light to fuel cellular processes that can lead to successful treatment.
LEDs have become the preferred delivery method of light wavelengths. This is because LEDs are considered safe. They're available as consumer-grade light therapy devices, and you don't need to visit a doctor to receive treatment.
Red Light Therapy Safety
One of the biggest concerns men have about using red light therapy to support male fertility is whether the treatment is safe for the testicles.
A 2017 study found that 630nm red light increased sperm motility without causing oxidative DNA damage to the sperm.
Fortunately, blue, red, and near-infrared wavelengths don’t generate heat in the body, and the treatment doesn’t harm sperm either.
Red Light Therapy Improves Human Sperm Motility
A 2018 review showed that red and near-infrared light is beneficial in treating male infertility by improving sperm survival, speed, and motility.
The effect of red light on sperm motility was observed in another study on men with asthenozoospermia and normal sperm count. After LED light treatment with blue light, red light, and NIR light, researchers saw significant increases in sperm motility. Meanwhile, two other studies found similar results, including one showing an improvement in sperm function and another showing further indications of an increase in sperm motility.
Can Red Light Therapy Help Improve Female Fertility?
There is a chance that red light therapy may be able to help with female infertility as well.
A Japanese study of a number of women considered ‘infertile’ were intentionally exposed to near-infrared light. Treatment was used on 16 out of 74 women in the initial phase of the study with 11 live deliveries. Then the study was expanded to a total of 701 women, and 156 women became pregnant resulting in 79 live deliveries.
The initial idea for this study of RLT treatment was sparked when a doctor started treating a woman for back pain who reportedly began menstruating again unexpectedly and continued to do so.
For couples who are experiencing age-related infertility, red light may be able to help. This is partly due to the fact that the mitochondria of older eggs produce far less cellular energy, which can affect the successful implantation of embryos.
The function of mitochondria within sperm cells can also be affected by various forces, including testosterone deficiency.
Red light therapy has been proven to stimulate the mitochondria to produce more energy and therefore improve cellular function. This can have a beneficial ripple effect on all male and female reproductive cells.
In the next section, we cover how red light therapy works to increase testosterone levels, which can also help to naturally boost sperm production.
Does Red Light Therapy Boost Testosterone?
While low testosterone production, or “Low T” occurs naturally due to aging, two out of 100 men suffer from abnormally low testosterone production, says the American Urology Association. Both men and women can use red light therapy to increase the body’s natural testosterone production.
If you don’t want to undergo testosterone replacement therapy, treatment with red light could help.
Light directly influences the human body, including testosterone levels. The European College of Neuropsychopharmacology conducted a study that showed higher testosterone production, increased sexual desire and sexual satisfaction after study subjects were exposed to bright light therapy.
Other studies on the relationship between light and testosterone indicate that red and near-infrared light can successfully boost testosterone in diabetics. Roughly half of diabetic men experience some sort of sexual dysfunction and infertility.
In another study, red and near-infrared light elevated testosterone levels after five days of 30-minute exposures to 670nm and 808nm light. This was also reportedly without causing any damage to the tissue. Although, we only recommend daily, 20-minute treatments. A short daily session on a regular basis may give you the red light therapy exposure needed to boost testosterone levels naturally.
Red Light Therapy Can Increase Cellular Energy Production
Research into red light therapy suggests that it may be possible to treat low testosterone and infertility at the cellular level.
As we've mentioned, red and near-infrared light stimulate the mitochondria. This treatment also positively influences the normal functioning and proliferation of all cells, including men’s Leydig cells.
The Leydig cells are responsible for testosterone production. When the mitochondria in the Leydig cells produce more adenosine triphosphate, the Leydig cells are able to produce testosterone at age-appropriate levels and at sometimes even better than would be normal for one's age.
Healthy testosterone levels depend on healthy cells. Healthy cells are better able to cope with endocrine disrupting chemicals and oxidative stress which could otherwise send them into survival mode. This redirects their resources away from testosterone production.
Red Light Therapy Can Reduce Inflammation
Chronic inflammation is one of the leading causes of mitochondrial dysfunction, resulting in the cells’ inability to produce enough energy.
According to Dr. Michael Hamblin, a renowned phototherapy expert, one of the key benefits of red and near-infrared light is reduced inflammation. This can have a powerful ripple effect to improve cellular health.
Red light therapy could help with infertility and testosterone production by increasing cellular energy production, by reducing chronic inflammation, and by improving blood circulation. The treatment is known to be safe, natural, non-invasive, and can be done affordably, at home.
Red Light Therapy for Sexual Health
Erectile dysfunction affects the sexual performance of millions of men. Taking ED drugs is one option, although drugs of this nature may have unwanted side-effects, whereas red light therapy provides a natural, holistic option.
Many cases of ED are due to poor blood circulation, which red light therapy can treat. Meanwhile, other cases may be related to chronic inflammation, which can also be treated by consistent use of red light therapy.
Red Light Therapy Increases Blood Circulation
Poor circulation is a top cause of erectile dysfunction. Red light stimulates vasodilation in healthy and diabetic blood vessels, which could make it easier to achieve and maintain an erection.
Red light therapy may also promote the growth of new capillary networks, to increase blood flow.
Should Red Light Be Directed at the Testicles?
You may have heard of 'testicle tanning' as a way to increase testosterone levels. The term is inaccurate. ‘Testicle tanning’ will absolutely not change the pigment of your testicles!
However, shining specific light wavelengths (especially NIR) on the testicles may help contribute to the boosting of testosterone levels naturally.
Additional Benefits of Red Light Therapy
Red light therapy can have an incredible array of benefits from head to toe. You can use it to:
- Relieve pain
- Boost athletic performance
- Treat chronic skin conditions, like psoriasis
- Heal wounds faster
- Treat osteoarthritis pain
- Support weight loss
- Reduce the appearance of scars, including reduced stretch marks
- Treat acne
- Regrow hair
Discover many more ways you can boost men's health with red light therapy in the Learning Center.
Let’s look a bit closer at some of the treatment regimens that may work best.
How to Use Red Light Therapy for Treating the Testicles
Here's how to use RLT for this purpose, so you can benefit from one of these many science-backed methods of increasing testosterone levels and boosting fertility.
Choose a Red Light Therapy Panel
For the best results, you may want an LED light therapy device that delivers both red and near-infrared light in a variety of wavelengths. Red light therapy panels provide more coverage and intensity than other forms of red light therapy do, like lamps, wants, hats, etc.
Weak handheld devices simply don't have the light energy output to "push" red or NIR light photons into the tissues within the testicles where Leydig cells are found.
How to Use RLT Panels for Treating Testosterone
It can help to take light treatment with bare skin exposed. Any clothing can block light from absorbing into the skin. Right after showering is a comfortable and convenient time for many. It also helps get RLT into the morning routine consistently.
One may conduct treatment while lying down or standing.
Users may also stand or sit in front of an RLT panel and treat the abdominal area to stimulate gut health. A recent study suggests that stimulating the gut biome may be helpful in treating the causes of infertility and/or erectile dysfunction.
“For enhanced testicular health with PlatinumLED therapy lights, begin with full-body panels targeting the lower back, where the testicular arteries branch from the L2-L3 vertebral levels. Then focus directly on the testicles to enhance circulation, ensuring the entire arterial pathway receives an abundance of oxygen and nutrients for amplified function."
Functional Medicine Doctor of Physical Therapy, Dr. Alayna Newton, PT, DPT, FAFS
Don't Just Treat the Testes: Aim for the Gut
As Hippocrates said, “All disease begins in the gut.” Therefore using a large red light therapy device that shines light on the gut can have more profound benefits than simply shining the light on the target treatment area.
Use RLT Panels Consistently
You can get the best results from being consistent with your treatment. This may help with achieving and maintaining healthy testosterone levels. We recommend aiming for once a day for 3-20 minutes or at least 3-5 treatments per week.
Since red light therapy works at the cellular level, one can expect to start seeing results in several weeks.
The BIOMAX Series
Which red light therapy panels are the best for increasing testosterone production and treating infertility and sexual problems?
By far, you’ll get the most light power output from the BIOMAX series. You will also benefit from a proprietary combination of wavelengths that make these light therapy devices the most versatile options for male health:
- 480nm blue light to treat any bacteria on the skin for surface-level treatment
- 630 and 660nm red light to support skin health and support hair growth in men with androgenetic alopecia.
- 810, 830, and 850nm near-infrared light for deeper wavelength impact.
You can also read more to find out which panel size may be best for you, when it comes to affordable and convenient home treatment with a device of your own.
Best of luck in your journey for lifestyle achievement, wellness, and holistic health!