Calling All Cell-Phones
The Australian and Hungarian Studies, 2004 and 2005
Back in 2005, a study came out of the University of Western Australia which found that men who carried a cell phone in their pocket or on their belt had sperm counts almost 15 per cent lower than men who either did not use cell phones or carried them differently. Their sperm was also lacking in another very crucial factor - motility, or swimming ability - which is critical to conception.
This study actually backs up similar results found in a Hungarian study made the year before, in 2004, which suggested that electromagnetic radiation for mobile phones had the potential to affect sperm production.
Leigh Simmons, a biologist at the University of Western Australia and one of the scientists behind the Australian study, said: "After other lifestyle factors had been accounted for, storage of mobile phones close to the testes had a significant negative impact on sperm concentration and the percentage of motile sperm. These trends suggest that recent concerns over long-term exposure to the electromagnetic irradiation emitted by mobile phones should be taken more seriously, given the growing trend for deterioration in the male sperm count."
In the Year 2008 - Another Study
Fast forward to 2008. In the years between the Australian study and September of this year, the general thought returned to "normal" and it was believed that researchers had debunked the idea that cell-phone use can be linked to disease in humans. As a means of addressing possible cell-phone/disease issues, headsets, earphones and other types of hands-free implementation were created.
And The Findings Indicate...
Now, according to a recent study which had been published in September of this year, research once again confirms the reality that men who keep their cell-phones in their pockets or clipped to their belt while using an earpiece may be compromising their sperm.
Cleveland Clinic fertility specialist Ashok Agarwal, lead author of the new study, found an increased incidence of poor sperm quality among men who are heavy cell-phone users than those who are not. He says, "This particular study was designed to examine whether exposure to radio-frequency electromagnetic waves from cell phones would cause any kind of changes in human sperm. That was our central question. And one that needed to be answered."
...That Some Things Haven't Changed
He continued, "We did a study of some 361 men that was published last year and showed that increased cell-phone use is related to a poorer quality of sperm. This was a self-reported study, and has limitations. But there was a significant relationship between cell-phone use and sperm quality, especially among men who used cell-phones for more than four hours per day."
A follow up lab study was done in which animals were used and exposed to the amount of radiation men would experience, and the findings were confirmed. Does this mean a man who wants to conceive should toss his cell-phone out? Ashok Agarwal says, "No, the study isn't definitive."
Even though there are still things that remain unknown at this time, one thing is known - something is going on with cell-phone use and male fertility and men should be paying attention.