Listen up gentlemen! You might want to get your cellphone out of your pocket. It could be putting your sperm at risk.
At least that's the suggestion on Wednesday by a new study, published in the journal Environmental International. The study says men who keep their cellphones in their pants may be damaging their sperm and decreasing their fertility.
Researchers from the University of Exeter did a review of 10 studies, which included 1,492 men who had visited fertility clinics and given sperm samples. Sperm quality was rated on three different measurements: motility (the ability to move properly to the egg), viability (the amount of alive sperm in a sample), and concentration (the amount sperm per unit of semen).
The researchers found that a control group of men had 50 to 80 percent of sperm with normal movement. However, this average dropped by 8 percent for men who were exposed to cellphones.
Other research suggests that the radio-frequency electromagnetic radiation (RF-EMR) emitted by cellphones can have a harmful effect on male fertility. And with such widespread use of cellphones worldwide, the researchers hope their work will inspire more health experts to look into the association further.
"This study strongly suggests that being exposed to radio-frequency electromagnetic radiation from carrying mobiles in trouser pockets negatively affects sperm quality,” Dr. Fiona Matthews, professor of biosciences at the University of Exeter, said in a press release. “This could be particularly important for men already on the borderline of infertility, and further research is required to determine the full clinical implications for the general population."