Womens Health

Put That Call on Hold

Researchers say that men who use a mobile phone for four hours or more a day have fewer sperm with less motility and poorer quality. A team from the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Ohio tested the sperm of 364 men undergoing fertility treatment with their spouses at clinics in Mumbai, India. The results of the study were presented to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine in New Orleans.

The study found that the heaviest users, those who use their mobile phones more than four hours daily, had the lowest average sperm counts with a rate of 50 million sperm per milliliter. These samples had the least healthy sperm of all the participants.

Those participants who used their phones for two-four hours a day had average sperm counts of 69 million per milliliter with sperm of moderate health.

Less Talk More Sperm

Those men who claimed not to use mobile phones had the highest sperm counts, averaging in at 86 million per milliliter and with the highest quality of the three groups studied.

In an address to the New Orleans conference, Dr. Ashok Agarwal, who headed up the study, stated that the results of this study don't prove a connection between mobile phone use and infertility, but rather that the results suggest that more research on this topic is warranted.

Dr. Agarwal laments that mobile phone users don't stop to think about the repercussions of using these phones; that their use has become an automatic reflex with no thought to how these devices may impact on our health. Agarwal suggests that radiation from mobile phones may harm sperm by damaging DNA, which in turn affects testosterone-producing cells in the testes, or the tubes where sperm originates.

British experts cast doubt on the link between mobile phone use and male infertility. Dr. Allan Pacey, senior lecturer in andrology at the University of Sheffield, commented,  "If you're using your phone for four hours a day, presumably it is out of your pocket for longer. That raises a big question: how is it that testicular damage is supposed to occur?"

Head to Testes, Direct?

Dr. Pacey, honorary secretary of the British Fertility Society called into question the idea that holding a phone up to the head for prolonged periods of time would have a direct effect on the testes. Pacey believes that those people who use phones for lengthier periods of time may also be inclined to be more sedentary, have more stress, or eat more junk food, all of which may be factors in the larger picture of what may be affecting the sperm of mobile phone-toting men.

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