Cellphones may be making you infertile: research

Men using a cellphone for more than an hour a day could double their risk of infertility, according to researchers.

Research conducted by the Haifa Technicon and Carmel Medical Center, and published in the medical journal Reproductive BioMedicine Online, brought evidence linking dropping fertility rates in men and the prevalence of cellphone use.

According to the research findings, the sperm count of men who kept their phones 50cm away from their groins dropped to levels that could cause infertility.

47% of men who kept their phones in their pockets recorded abnormally low levels of semen concentration. This is compared to 11% of the general male population.

Further, 60.9% of men talking for more than one hour a day and and 66.% of men using their phones during device charging were associated with higher rates of abnormal semen concentration (versus 35.7% and 35.6% of the general male population, respectively).

“Our findings suggest that certain aspects of cellphone usage may bear adverse effects on sperm concentration. Investigation using large-scale studies is thus needed,” the researchers said.

They recommended that men shorten the duration of calls, avoid carrying devices near their groins, avoid sleeping next to their phones, and not use devices while they’re charging.

The research was based on 106 men who had their semen analysed.

This latest study echoes findings from the University of Exeter in 2014, which found that exposure to radio-frequency electromagnetic radiation (RF-EMR) emitted by cellphones can have a detrimental effect on male fertility.

Read: Men: think twice before pocketing your cellphone

The study found that in control groups, 50-85% of sperm had normal movement. When exposed to mobile phones, however, this was negatively impacted by 8 percentage points.

Warning signs

Research is piling up both supporting and dismissing the negative impact of cellphone radiation on health.

Studies have shown that being exposed to certain frequencies of radio waves can lead to neural degeneration, making it harder to learn and rememeber things; while there is no shortage of peer-reviewed research linking cellphone use to certain types of cancer.

But on the other side of the matter, there are also studies showing that the impact of cellphone radiation on human health is negligible at best.

What all researchers agree on, however, is that more studies are needed.

Given the short time that mobile phone use has been widespread, no studies have been properly able to investigate risk of cellphones in relation to long-term use.

In order to investigate this issue, a long-term cohort studies have been implemented, which will gather data on health, mobile phone use and other health risks.

More on radiation

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Cellphones may be making you infertile: research