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Cellphones reported to decrease sperm quality, fertility

A new study has suggested that placing your cellphone in the vicinity of your manhood might damage your sperm
A new study has suggested that placing your cellphone in the vicinity of your manhood might damage your sperm
Robin Wulffson, MD

Hey guys, if you carry your cellphone in your pants pocket and are interested in fathering a child, you might want to relocate it. A new study has suggested that placing your cellphone in the vicinity of your manhood might damage your sperm. The findings were published online on June 10 in the journal Environmental International by researchers at the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom and the Andrology and Human Reproduction Clinic, in Campinas, Brazil.

These days, most adults worldwide are cellphone users. The study authors note that radio-frequency electromagnetic radiation from these devices might affect sperm development and function. Approximately14% of couples in high- and middle-income nations have difficulty conceiving; furthermore, studies from several nations have noted unexplained declines in semen quality. In view of the foregoing, the researchers conducted a systematic literature review followed by meta-analysis to determine whether exposure to emissions from cellphones affects human sperm quality. The subjects were participants were from fertility clinic and research centers.

The systematic review comprised 10 studies, which included 1,492 men who had been evaluated at fertility clinics or research centers and had provided sperm samples. Sperm quality was measured by three criteria: motility (the ability to move properly to the egg), viability (the amount of living sperm in a sample), and concentration (the amount sperm per unit of semen). Men who used a cellphone were compared to those who did not (control group).

The investigators found that the control group of men had 50-80%t of sperm with normal movement. However, this average dropped by 8% for men who were exposed to cellphones. A similar decrease was found for men the cellphone group in regard to sperm viability; however, the effects on sperm concentration were unclear.

The researchers concluded that their study indicated negative associations between cellphone exposure on sperm viability and motility; however, the effects son sperm concentration were unclear. They recommended that further research should be conducted to more precisely quantify these effects and to evaluate the clinical importance of the risk to both men with low fertility and the general population.

Take home message:

If you are interested in conceiving a child, consider storing your cellphone in a shirt or coat pocket. If you are not interesting in fatherhood, consider storing your cellphone in your boxers. Seriously, in view of this study, if you are desirous of conception, keep your cellphone as far as possible from the sperm factory. This is particularly important for men who have reduced fertility.