Men may want to reconsider how closely they store their mobile phone to the family jewels.
A meta-analysis of ten past studies, led by researchers at University of Exeter, U.K., found a small but consistent drop in sperm quality if the men (or their, uh, samples) had been exposed to mobile phone radiation. While researchers found no link between mobile phone radiation and an actual drop in fertility rates, the finding could contribute to understanding the global — and still unexplained — drop in sperm count.
A systematic review and meta-analysis looked into the impact of low-level electromagnetic radiation (EMR) which is the type emitted by cell phones on sperm quality, both in the lab and among male patients at fertility clinics.
Their analysis of 10 such studies showed that exposure to EMR from cell phones lowered sperm motility by 8 percent and sperm viability by 9 percent.2Previous studies have also found that cell phone radiation can affect men’s sperm count, and the quality and motility of their sperm. One such study, published in PLOS One found
“RF-EMR in both the power density and frequency range of mobile phones enhances mitochondrial reactive oxygen species generation by human spermatozoa, decreasing the motility and vitality of these cells while stimulating DNA base adduct formation and, ultimately DNA fragmentation. These findings have clear implications for the safety of extensive mobile phone use by males of reproductive age, potentially affecting both their fertility and the health and wellbeing of their offspring.”
During the 2013 discussion “Cell Phones & Wi-Fi – Are Children, Fetuses and Fertility at Risk?,” leading experts from top universities further reported, “There is a direct relationship between duration of cell phone use and sperm count decline. Sperm count is reduced by half in men who carry cell phones in their pants pockets for four hours per day. The motility of the sperm is also impaired.
The testicular barrier, that protects sperm, is the most sensitive of tissues in the body, and is 100x more absorbent. Besides sperm count and function, the mitochondrial DNA of sperm are damaged 3x more if exposed to cell phone radiation.
DNA mutations have been linked more to damage on the male side in research from Iceland, the assumption being that male sperm is more vulnerable than female eggs, which are more protected. Mutations increase with the age of the father, and more autism and schizophrenia increase with the age of the father.”
The data suggest men who plan to father children, in particular, may want to reconsider carrying their cell phones on their belts or in their pocket, in close proximity to their reproductive organs. In addition, both men and women have a number of other sensitive organs in that general area, including your liver, kidneys, colon, and bladder—all of which are susceptible to radiation.