Updated: Mar 7
As many as 10% of women struggle
with infertility. Here’s how light therapy is providing hope for women to get pregnant.
The devastating and straining experience of low fertility is a more common problem than most people realize, affecting an incredible 10% of women. For so many of these women, standard medical treatments are prohibitively expensive and other traditional solutions have not worked, leaving them with few options and a lack of hope.
Growing research is restoring that hope, though, because it supports a painless, natural, and effective light therapy treatment. Our experts are breaking down the process and explaining the details of how light therapy improves fertility.
What Is Light Therapy for Fertility?
Lasers and light sources are used for countless medical and cosmetic purposes today, so it’s important to note that fertility treatments use a particular type of light therapy. The treatment is called photobiomodulation, or PBM. It can also be called low-level laser therapy or LLLT.
PBM uses a specific type or wavelength of light. We place the light source, which looks like a medical lamp, above your abdomen and allow your tissue to absorb the light for just under half an hour.
How Does Light Therapy Work for Improved Fertility?
Fertility is a complex issue that can have nearly unlimited potential causes. In many cases, though, especially for women who are over 30, the key problem is the aging of their cells. To function, cells need energy - a particular type of energy called ATP. Amazingly, cells can produce their own energy through their mitochondria. These terms may sound familiar from high school biology class, but don’t worry, we won’t get too much further into the microscopic science of it all.
As we get older, our mitochondria produce less ATP, so our cells don’t function as well. This happens to different types of cells throughout our reproductive systems but especially to our eggs. That’s where light therapy comes in.
Light therapy stimulates your mitochondria to produce more ATP, leading to better cell function and improved egg quality. All of that adds up to better fertility. In fact, because we treat the entire abdominal area with light therapy, we’re stimulating the mitochondria in cells throughout your entire reproductive system, so this treatment can combat infertility that comes from a variety of different causes.
It’s important to note that light therapy for fertility is particularly effective for women over 30 rather than younger women. Young women’s mitochondria are usually still producing plenty of ATP, so low fertility in this range is more likely to come from other causes.
Are Light Therapy and Infrared Therapy the Same Thing?
You may have heard of infrared therapy or infrared light therapy, but this is not the same thing as PBM light therapy for fertility. Infrared light refers to light with wavelengths that fall within a certain range. PBM uses near-infrared light, meaning that it doesn’t quite fall into the infrared range.
This matters because different wavelengths of light have different effects on your body. Infrared light heats tissue to trigger certain processes in your body. The light we use in PBM, on the other hand, doesn’t heat the tissue and is particularly effective for stimulating mitochondria.
How Many Light Therapy Sessions Will Improve My Therapy?
Photobiomodulation needs to be used in a precise way to give you the greatest results. The treatment course involves six sessions of PBM, with 30 minutes of light exposure in each session, performed between the first day of your period and your ovulation. This series puts your eggs and your reproductive system at optimal health just when you’re about to ovulate, so you have a better chance of conception. If you don’t conceive and your next period arrives, we can repeat another six-session process.
Does Light Therapy for Fertility Really Work?
PBM shows great potential for improving fertility in women, including women who have tried numerous other treatment options. In studies of women between the ages of 34-50 who had a history of infertility and were treated with PBM, an incredible 65% of them became pregnant. These were all women who had tried multiple other fertility treatments without success, so they were all known to have poor fertility, and many of them became pregnant within one to three months of beginning their PBM treatments.
Is Light Therapy for Infertility Safe?
Not only does PBM have strong effectiveness rates but it’s a low-risk treatment too. It has no known side effects and the sessions don’t even cause discomfort.
How Can I Make My Light Therapy More Effective?
If you’re considering light therapy to enhance your fertility, you want to give yourself the greatest possible chance for success.
Choose the Right Treatment Provider
Like any other health and wellness treatment, light therapy needs to be performed by a knowledgeable professional who can tailor the treatment to your needs and make sure it’s being performed in the most successful way. Shop around for PBM providers in your area and choose a clinic or provider that has experience with this particular treatment and has a clean, safe environment for your sessions.
Pair Light Therapy with Other Fertility-Focused Treatments
Your reproductive system is incredibly complex and powerful, so there are many factors of your health and your reproductive system that can impact your fertility. To give yourself the greatest chance to conceive the baby of your dreams, work with your treatment provider to combine your PBM therapy with other fertility-boosting strategies. This could include fertility-focused massage, a nutrition plan, herbal steam baths, acupuncture, diet, and so on.