June 10, 2014
Mobile Technology May Be Negatively Affecting Male Fertility
Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
Men with fertility problems may want to reevaluate what they keep in the pockets of their pants, especially if one of those items is a mobile phone.According to a new study in the Environment International journal, Radio-frequency electromagnetic radiation (RF-EMR) emitted by mobile phones can reduce sperm mobility and viability.
In the study, researchers review data from participants at fertility clinics and research centers. Sperm quality was assessed based on three different metrics: motility, the ratio of sperm that were alive, (viability) and the quantity of sperm per unit of semen (concentration).
The researchers found that 50 to 85 percent of sperm have normal movement, under normal circumstances. However, when the researchers saw that the sperm samples were exposed to mobile phones – sperm motility dropped by 8 percent. A similar effect was seen for viability and the effect of concentration was unclear.
“Given the enormous scale of mobile phone use around the world, the potential role of this environmental exposure needs to be clarified,” said study author Fiona Mathews, a biologist at the University of Exeter. “This study strongly suggests that being exposed to radio-frequency electromagnetic radiation from carrying mobiles in trouser pockets negatively affects sperm quality.”
“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,” she added.
Researchers are constantly looking to solve fertility problems and a study published last month announced that a team of American researchers identified a key protein that plays a major role in determining a sperm’s ability to fertilize an egg.