Cell Phone Affects Male Fertility
I often (half) joke with friends that if someone were to rob me and ask me for my wallet or my phone, I’d much rather give them my wallet and stay with my phone.
I am just as dependent on that thing as much as you.
Men are fifty percent of the problem when a couple can’t conceive. Is that shocking to you? It was to me when I first read that stat. Most people think the problem with fertility is mostly women. Nope.
When I see patients for male fertility, the first thing we go over is removing cell phones from anywhere near the pelvic area.
Here’s how mobile phones work…
Cell phones work within low radiofrequency (RF) bands and radiate non-ionizing energy (as opposed to ionizing radiation, i.e., X-rays) in the form of radiofrequency electromagnetic waves (RF-EMW).
Exposure to ionizing radiation is known to increase the risk of cancer.
According to the National Cancer Institute, there is no evidence that non-ionizing radiation (like microwaves and cell phones) correlates with cancer.
Cell phones emit RF energy when in use (talk mode) and the closer the mobile phone is to the tissue when in use, the higher the RF-EMW energy that will be absorbed.
The human body absorbs energy from devices that emit radio frequency electromagnetic radiation, like phones, and the dose of the absorbed energy is estimated using the SAR measure, according to the National Cancer Institute.
Specific absorption rate (SAR) is a measure of the relative amount of RF energy absorbed by the human body (in W kg−1) when using a mobile phone. SAR value for mobile phones operating at its maximum power level is limited to 1.6 W kg−1 in the US, Canada, and Australia, and 2.0 W kg−1 in Europe.
The smartphone that currently emits the highest level of radiation is the Mi A1 from Chinese manufacturer Xiaomi, with a SAR rating of 1.75 watts per kilogram. (LINK to Newsweek infographics on cell phones and the SAR associated
The SAR value varies for each type of mobile phone and can also vary significantly in any one particular model based on usage conditions.
Exposure to RF-EMW radiation could potentially exert thermal and nonthermal effects on biological tissue. Heat is mostly generated from the handset, but the thermal effects of mobile phone radiation seem less probable as adverse heating effects occur at SAR values of 4.0 W kg−1 and greater.
Exposure to various environmental frequencies can induce cellular changes.
When used as a hands free device along with wireless, or wired earpiece/headset (of which also emit a small amount of RF energy), placement of the mobile phone when in talk mode either in the trouser pocket or clipped to a belt, places the primary source of the mobile phone RF-EMW energy away from the head but closer to the genital tissue.
A wireless headset using Bluetooth technology uses radiofrequency radiation to communicate with a cell phone. This is the same form of radiation emitted by cell phones.
The difference is the signal travels is that the wireless headset emitted are lower than that from a cell phone. Only inches from the Bluetooth headset to the phone, so wireless headset emissions are lower than emissions from a cell phone, which transmits to a distant tower.
Some wireless headsets emit continuously, even when you’re not on a call. EWG recommends that if you use a wireless headset, take it off between calls.
Wired earphone or headsets also emit RF as they act as a secondary antenna, transmitting some small amount of radiation toward the head of a user.
What Should you do?
- Text or use speaker phone as often as possible
- Use wired earphones when possible (I admit, I love not having to untangle wires, so like wireless
- Use wireless earphones but don’t keep them in your ear for too long. And take them off your ears when you are not on a call.
Bottom line: keep cell phones away from your ears as much as possible and especially away from kids ears until they are at least thirteen years old, or so, when their brains are fully (mostly) developed.
Geez, I seriously digressed here. I’m supposed to talk about cell phones and male fertility but I thought I share my findings of what can happen when devices are clung to your ear.
Cell Phones and Male Fertility
Thermal effects of cell phones on the male reproductive system include increaseslevels of reactive oxygen species and reduction in antioxidant enzymes leading to oxidative stress, damage to semen DNA, altered sperm proliferative activity, and reduced testosterone levels driving bodies decreased
Most, not all, animal studies, three studies showed the results that RF-EMR exposure had harmful effects on sperm motility and viability.
That’s nice, but how about humans?
Most human studies indicate that mobile phone use or radiofrequency exposure had negative effects on semen.
One study concludes that men should not keep a mobile phone in their trouser pockets or near testicles to avoid the potentially harmful effect of radiofrequency radiation on the male reproductive system. Further well-designed and standardized case-control and cohort studies are needed to identify the impact of mobile phone use on semen quality and the association between mobile phone use and infertility.
Another study showed cell phones (when near pelvic area) decrease the semen quality in men by reducing the sperm count, motility, viability, and normal morphology. The decrease in sperm parameters was dependent on the duration of daily exposure to cell phones and independent of the initial semen quality.
Lastly, one meta-analysis looking at over 1400 men showed exposure to mobile phones was associated with reduced sperm motility and viability. general population.
What should you do if you want to improve your male fertility prowess?
Keep cell phones away from your front pocket trousers or belt clip.
That’s a good start.