Many people believe infertility to be something that affects women predominantly.
In reality, both genders equally can suffer from infertility problems when trying to conceive.
Many cancer survivors who are trying to conceive find that treatment has caused them to become infertile.
However, recent developments may now be able to help some men restore their ability to fertilise their partner’s eggs even after cancer treatment.
Japanese scientists grew sperm from the frozen testicle tissue of a group of mice. The sperm was then injected into female mice, which in turn produced healthy offspring.
The process is called spermatogenesis.
The fact that the new technique was successful in mice, particularly since the offspring grew into healthy adults, gives scientists hope that this could be used one day for men who have undergone cancer treatment in the past.
This idea is not new however. Scientists around the globe have believed for a long time that preserving sperm via a process known as cryopreservation could be beneficial for infertile men.
How long it will be before techniques developed by scientists are able to be fully used is not known. It is, nevertheless, a great step forward.
The Japanese scientists also commented when publishing their results in the journal Nature Communications, they believe cryopreservation, and in turn spermatogenesis will become a commonplace treatment in the not too distant future.