This has been known for a long time.
Men who keep their cell phones within two feet of their testicles endanger their sperm, a new study finds — both in their quantity and quality. And it may not be enough to simply stop carrying one in a pants pocket, researchers advised.
Over 100 men took part in the study by Technion University researchers in Haifa, Israel. The findings were published in the journal, Reproductive BioMedicine, and showed those who regularly kept their cell phone in a pants pocket were more than four times as likely to suffer a lower sperm count than their general population counterparts.
Nearly half, or 47 percent, of the men carrying phones that close to their testicles were “seriously affected,” while those who kept their pockets cell phone-free showed lower sperm counts at a rate of only 11 percent.
Professor Gedis Grudzinskas, fertility consultant and author of the study, told The Telegraph, “If you wear a suit to work, put the mobile in your chest pocket instead of close to your testes. It will reduce the risk of your sperm count dropping or dropping so much.”
But Professor Grudzinskas didn’t stop there.
“And do you need to keep the phone right next to you on the bedside table. Some men keep their mobile in their shorts or pyjamas in bed. Is that really necessary?” he reasoned.
Yes, even keeping a cell phone on a bedside table had an impact on the test subjects.
“We think this is being caused by a heating of the sperm from the phone and by electromagnetic activity,” Technion University Professor Martha Dirnfeld said.
Sperm shortages have been a mainstream concern for decades. In 1991, in front of the World Health Organization, University of Copenhagen Professor Niels Skakkebaek contended that sperm counts of Western countries had been cut in half during the previous 50 years. Since then, everything from industrial chemicals to food to stress have been blamed, though no study has conclusively pinpointed what is behind the trend.
It is estimated that in 40 percent of cases where couples can’t conceive, the issue is with the man’s sperm — a statistic cited by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine and WebMD. Because women more often carry their cell phones in purses, it might be more under a man’s control to maintain healthy reproductive organs, though the study did not observe women.
“Men need to think about their well being and try to stop being addicted to their phones,” Professor Grudzinskas said.
While the findings were cause for concern, The Guardian questioned the study, citing its small sample pool of 106 men and chalking up the results to correlation just as much as causation.
“That isn’t very many men, so it could easily be a chance result. Nor is it good evidence anyway, since men who use their phone a lot might also be unusual in other areas, and it might be those areas, not their phone, that are responsible,” the article posited.
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