Light Therapy Shows Promise for Boosting Sex Drive, Performance, & Treating Male Infertility
We’ve written about light therapy and boosting testosterone. This article goes further and breaks down recent research on light therapy and male sexual performance & infertility. The early results are extremely encouraging and show light therapy’s potential to be an effective natural treatment for male infertility, low sex drive, and overall sexual performance.
Clinical Research on Light Therapy & Sex
Recent clinical research shows light therapy’s immense potential for treating male infertility and problems with sexual performance—in a way that is natural, non-invasive, chemical & drug-free, and doesn’t come with a big list of nasty side effects.
Light therapy has been widely studied in clinical trials, and found to deliver health benefits in large part by stimulating cells to produce more ATP energy, leading to improved overall bodily function. While light therapy’s positive effects on skin health, joint pain, burns & scars, and muscles are well-established, research into its effects on male testosterone, sexual performance, and fertility is still in a comparatively earlier stage. However, more and more science is emerging, and the early clinical results are extremely encouraging.
More Testosterone: It’s normal for testosterone levels to start dropping in your 30s and 40s, and low T is often a root cause of a man’s sexual concerns as he gets older. It’s clear that more testosterone generally translates to a higher sex drive, more energy, and more sexual satisfaction for men and their partners. Recent published studies are showing that natural light exposure can increase male testosterone levels quite significantly. We wrote this related article about light therapy & testosterone that dives into that research.
2016 Sexual Satisfaction Study: One of the clinical results we examined in that testosterone article is a 2016 randomized, placebo-controlled University of Siena pilot study that evaluated men with low sexual desire. Researchers found that men treated with light therapy saw significant rises in their T-levels. Beyond just testosterone, researchers documented a notable increase in patients’ sexual satisfaction as well. 
The men indicated their level of sexual desire and satisfaction before the study, and then again afterward. The group that received daily light therapy treatments with a clinical dose saw a big increase in both sexual desire and testosterone, while the control group did not see major increases in either.
Dr. Andrea Fagiolini, the study’s lead researcher, summarized the sexual satisfaction results:
"We found fairly significant differences between those who received the active light treatment, and the controls. Before treatment, both groups averaged a sexual satisfaction score of around 2 out of 10, but after treatment, the group exposed to the bright light was scoring sexual satisfaction scores of around 6.3—a more than 3-fold increase on the scale we used. In contrast, the control group only showed an average score of around 2.7 after treatment." 
This was a relatively small pilot study, and more research is needed on light therapy and sexual health, but the results are very encouraging.
Light Therapy for Male Fertility & Sperm Health
In comparison to testosterone production, there has been much more research conducted on light therapy and its effects on male reproductive health & sperm function. More clinical data is needed, but the existing findings offer optimism for a more natural and effective infertility treatment for guys trying to have children.
1 in 6 couples in the United States deals with infertility, and it’s a complicating factor for 30-50% of couples trying to have their second child. [3,4] So it’s no small problem, and if you’re struggling to get pregnant, you’re far from alone.
Much of the existing research on light therapy is focused on sperm motility, which measures how well individual spermatozoa are able to move and swim. This is central to fertility; as one study puts it: “The ability to successfully fertilize ova relies upon the swimming ability of spermatozoa” 
Numerous studies over the last 5 years have found that increased natural light exposure to a man’s testes and sperm increases sperm motility.
A 2015 Slovenian study analyzed 30 infertile men with impaired sperm motility, known medically as asthenozoospermia. Semen samples were treated with different wavelengths of natural light and motility was measured. The study’s authors concluded:
“In the non-treated semen samples, the average ratio of rapidly progressive sperms was 12% and of immotile sperm 73%. Treating with LED significantly increased the proportion of rapidly progressive sperm...and significantly decreased the ratio of immotile sperm. All differences were highly statistically significant. This finding confirmed that photobiomodulation using LED improved the sperm motility in asthenozoospermia regardless of the wavelength.” 
This is consistent with the findings of a recent 2018 study that analyzed light therapy and male reproductive health and concluded: “(light therapy) is recommended as an integral part of the complex treatment of infertility.” 
Both Red & Near Infrared Wavelengths are Effective: A 2014 study treated sperm samples with near infrared light in the mid-800 nm range and tested for motility, finding a significant increase.  A separate 2017 study treated samples of trapped spermatozoa with red light in the mid-600 nm range and found it drastically improved sperm swimming speed and force.  These red & near infrared wavelengths in the mid-600s and mid-800s nm range are the ones used because they’ve been found to be the most clinically effective.
In addition to noting increased sperm motility, a 2017 study published in Scientific Reports found that these treatments were safe, and did not induce any oxidative DNA damage to the sperm or testes. 
Conclusion: Consider Light Therapy for Sexual Performance and Male Infertility
More clinical research is needed and will emerge in the coming years, but the early results on light therapy and sexual performance & fertility are great news for adult men. Combined with the testimonies of trusted fitness pros and world-class athletes, it’s clear natural light can play a major therapeutic role for male sexual health and fertility, in addition to the encouraging research on testosterone production.
Scientific Sources and Medical References:
 Fagiolini A et al. Lack of interest in sex successfully treated by exposure to bright light. European College of Neuropsychopharmacology. Sept 2016.
 European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP). "Lack of interest in sex successfully treated by exposure to bright light." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 September 2016.
 “Male Infertility: Causes, Treatment And Prevention,” American Pregnancy Association
 “Optimal Evaluation of the Infertile Male,” American Urological Association
 Preece D., Chow KW, Gomez-Godinez V., Gustafson K., et al. Red light improves spermatozoa motility and does not induce oxidative DNA damage. Scientific Reports. 2017 Apr 20;7:46480.
 Ban Frangez H., Frangez I., Verdenik I., Jansa V., Virant Klun I. Photobiomodulation with light-emitting diodes improves sperm motility in men with asthenozoospermia. Laser in Medical Science, 2015 Jan;30(1):235-40.
 Vladimirovich Moskvin S., Ivanovich Apolikhin O. Effectiveness of low level laser therapy for treating male infertility. Biomedicine (Taipei). 2018 June; 8(2):7.
 Salman Yazdi, R., Bakhshi, S., Jannat Alipoor, F. et al. Effect of 830-nm diode laser irradiation on human sperm motility. Lasers Med Sci. (2014) 29: 97.
 Chow KW, Preece D, Burns MW. Effect of red light on optically trapped spermatozoa. Biomedical Optics Express. (2017) Aug 23;8(9):4200-4205.