Mobile phones affect fertility26th October 2006
Heavy use of mobile phones leads to a lower sperm count and remaining sperm will be poorer quality than those who rarely or never use phones, say researchers.
The US researchers found men who did not use mobiles had much more sperm and it was much fitter and healthier sperm than those who used their phones for four hours or more per day.
Other experts have already questioned the findings and argue men who use mobile phones a lot may share other lifestyle factors such as stress, smoking and diet which can have an impact on sperm counts and health.
Chances of fertility are not simply about numbers, but also the health of the sperm. To successfully fertilise an egg, sperm must have good motility – the ability to swim through the reproductive tract, and good morphology – which means being well-shaped.
The findings of the research from the Glikman Urological Institute at the Cleveland Clinic, revealed non mobile phone users averaged a sperm count of 86 million per millilitre (m/ml), 68 per cent adequate motility, and 40 per cent good morphology. For men using their phone more than four hours a day, sperm counts almost halved, while motility dropped to 45 per cent and only 18 per cent were well shaped. Sperm counts and health was also affected in men who used their phones for more than two hours.
This is the second study to link mobile phone use and fertility problems. A study from the University of Szeged in Hungary that found heavy mobile users had 30 per cent lower sperm counts.
A 2005 study in New South Wales has also suggested radio wave radiation similar to that from mobiles caused DNA damage in the sperm of mice.
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