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Radiation from mobile phones can reduce sperm quality

A new study indicates that the radiation from cell phones may negatively affect a man’s fertility, suggesting that men who keep their cell phones in their pants pocket may be reducing their chances of fathering a child.

Researchers at the University of Exeter in the UK conducted a review of the findings from 10 studies that included a total of 1,492 men. They found that exposure to the electromagnetic radiation in cell phones lowered the movement (motility) of sperm by 8%. They found similar effects on sperm vitality. Dr. Fiona Matthews, who led the research team, said of their findings:

“Given the enormous scale of mobile phone use around the world, the potential role of this environmental exposure needs to be clarified. 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.”

The researchers caution that “cumulative” radiation from other technologies, such as that from laptops, may also reduce sperm quality, although more research is needed.

Dr. Allan Pacey, a leading fertility expert at the University of Sheffield in the UK, is skeptical about the findings given that the studies to date have been limited, and have not taken into account other lifestyle factors that can affect men’s fertility. According to Pacey:

“What we need are some properly designed epidemiological studies where mobile phone use is considered alongside other lifestyle habits. Until that time, I will be continuing to keep my iPhone in my trouser pocket!”

Read more about the study here.

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