Cell phones that emit low-frequency electromagnetic fields can in some cases affect sperm quality in men.
This was found out by scientists from the University of Geneva and the Swiss Institute of Tropical Medicine and Public Health, writes CNN.
The study involved 2,886 men aged 18 to 22 between 2005 and 2018 at military conscription centers.
The study found that men who said they used their phone more than 20 times a day had a 21% higher risk of a lower total sperm count.
Men also had a 30% higher risk of low sperm concentration. The study did not specify whether the men were calling, texting, or using their phones for both.
At the same time, no consistent relationship between cell phone use and sperm motility or morphology was found. Keeping a mobile phone in a pants pocket was also not associated with deterioration of sperm parameters.
The scientists also found that with the improvement of telephone technology over the 13 years of the study, the effect on the number of sperm began to decrease.
“The biggest knock-on effect was apparently seen with older 2G and 3G phones compared to today’s 4G and 5G versions“, said Allan Pacey, associate dean of the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health at the University of Manchester in the UK. He was not involved in the research.
Scientists believe that RF electromagnetic fields drop significantly when texting and are highest when downloading large files, audio or video, and when a bus, car or train is moving fast.
Therefore, they recommend keeping the phone away from the body and head, using a speakerphone or headphones, and carrying the phone in a bag.
However, whether electromagnetic fields can impair male fertility – a man’s ability to conceive – has been a source of controversy and debate in the scientific community for years.
Previous studies in mice have found that harmful radiation from smartphones reduces male fertility and contributes to the death of sperm and changes in testicular tissue.
However, other animal studies have not confirmed this. In addition, there are huge differences between humans and mice in how sperm invade.
“This new research should not cause alarm. Men who want to have a baby or want to improve sperm quality should exercise (but not overheat in the groin area), eat a balanced diet, maintain a normal weight, not smoke, limit alcohol consumption and seek professional help if they have problems with conception“, – notes Alison Campbell, chief research officer at fertility clinic chain Care Fertility.
Further research is needed to confirm a causal relationship between smartphone use and lower sperm concentration, the paper concludes.
Read also: “There are more bacteria than on the toilet: how to properly disinfect a smartphone”
Iryna Bura, UP. Life