Cell phones have taken an important place in everyone’s life. These gadgets are often within reach or in our pockets while we’re not using them. In this process we get exposed to at least 5 hours of radiation every day on average. In addition to general health hazards, cell phone radiation negatively affect reproductive functions and fertility. Effects and side effects of regular device use affecting the quality of your sperm are a major concern.
Relation of cell phones to radiation
- Mobile phones generate radio waves, which have been demonstrated to have a detrimental impact on sperm quality. The more we use our cell phones, the higher the chance of harm.
- When stored in the front pockets, where they are near the reproductive organs. Mobile phone radiation may have a more negative effect if stored in pockets.
- Using WIFI and cell phones frequently might affect male fertility in various ways. In addition to heating up the scrotum, messing with the circadian cycle these make sedentary behavior worse.
Understanding Cell Phone Radiation
Cell phones, like the majority of electronic equipment, produce minute amounts of radiofrequency energy, often known as radio waves. The radiofrequency range of second-, third-, and fourth-generation (4G) smart phones is between 0.7 and 2.7 GHz. Cell phones of the fifth generation (5G) are expected to boost this frequency range to 80 GHz. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth likewise employ radio waves, with a frequency of roughly 2.4 GHz.
Cell phone, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth radiation is referred to as “non-ionizing”. This means that its frequency and energy are too low to harm cellular DNA. In contrast, UV or X-ray radiation have a higher frequency & higher energy. Hence the potential to permanently harm cells is more. Although mobile phone electromagnetic radiation is not strong enough to cause more serious problems, they can certainly reduce fertility.
Effects on sperm count
Men who carry their mobile phones in their pockets or on their belts for long hours are more likely to have low sperm count. In addition, they have more inactive or less mobile sperm.
Cell Phone Use And Sperm Motility/Viability
Sperm viability is the proportion of living sperm in the semen sample, whereas sperm motility is the number of sperm that are moving normally.
Researchers discovered in 2014 semen analysis that exposure to mobile phones was associated with a decline in sperm motility (by 8%) and viability (by 9%). Another analysis from 2016 included 27 research including both people and animals to examine the impact of electromagnetic radiation from mobile phones on the male reproductive system. Among those studies, 21 found adverse effects on semen parameters, and 11 of the 15 that looked at sperm motility found cell phone usage to be significantly linked with reductions in sperm motility.
Sperm DNA Fragmentation
An embryo’s inability to grow, a miscarriage (which may reoccur), genetic defects in the progeny, or disease are all possible outcomes of sperm DNA fragmentation. Sperm DNA fragmentation is defined as a break or separation in the DNA present inside sperm. In this 2013 study, researchers discovered that participants who used their phones more than four hours per day, and in particular those who carried the phone in their trousers pocket, had drastically changed sperm DNA fragmentation. In the US, the typical person uses their cell phone for 5 to 6 hours per day.
Oxidative Stress, Cell Phones, And Infertility
Damage from an excess of free radicals in the body is known as oxidative stress. Reactive oxygen species (ROS), another name for free radicals, are unstable molecules that are created naturally as byproducts of regular existence. ROS are normally not harmful at low concentrations. Free radicals, however, can harm the components inside our cells, including DNA, if they are not controlled.
Cell phones, laptops, and Wi-Fi are examples of devices that generate radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation and have been demonstrated to cause oxidative stress and have an elevated amount of ROS. It becomes sense to think that a higher ROS concentration might lead to worsened semen parameters or greater sperm DNA fragmentation.
Bluetooth Devices And Male Fertility
It may be safer to use hands-free Bluetooth headphones or other equipment that prevent direct contact between the body and the phone. Moreover, Bluetooth gadgets release low-level, non-ionizing radiation. When compared to cell phones, Bluetooth headphones emit 10-400 times less electromagnetic radiation.
There hasn’t been enough research done on the effects of Bluetooth gadgets on male fertility. Keeping your phone in your pocket while using your Bluetooth device seems to carry the most risk of injury.
What About Wi-Fi And Male Fertility?
Wi-Fi produces radiation at a comparable frequency (2.4 GHz) to that of cell phones and other electronic gadgets. Wi-Fi use has been shown to have negative consequences on male reproductive characteristics, including decreased sperm counts, reduced DNA integrity, and other issues.
Usage of the internet has increased while sperm counts have decreased overall and over time. Wi-Fi had a stronger negative effect on male fertility than wired internet use. They discovered that while sperm viability and morphology are unaffected by Wi-Fi transmitter radiation, sperm count, motility, and DNA integrity may be. In addition, this research discovered that Wi-Fi exposure was linked to oxidative stress activities, elevated testicular temperature, decreased testosterone levels, increased apoptotic cells, and DNA damage.
Using The Device On Your Lap Can Warm Your Scrotum
For sperm to be produced as best as possible, scrotal temperature is crucial. The ideal temperature for the testicles is 93.2°F; to assist maintain this temperature, the scrotum hangs away from the body. According to research, the testes can overheat and damage the quality of the sperm when a laptop is placed directly on the lap over the scrotum. While 29 volunteers used computers on their knees, researchers measured the temperature of their scrotums. The respondents’ scrotums heated up even with a lap pad below the computer. Reduced testosterone levels, an increase in apoptotic cells indicate DNA damage. It can all have a detrimental effect on sperm quality and fertility.
Preventing The Impact Of Your Cell Phone On Your Fertility
Well-integrated mobile devices are into our personal and professional lives. Choosing to live “off the grid” is probably not something you’ll do. There are, however, simple measures you may take to decrease the effect:
- Limit the time you spend on your phone overall.
- It is better to keep more space between the phone and your body when talking on your mobile device. Always use hands-free equipment, such as Bluetooth headphones.
- Avoid carrying your phone in your pocket at all times. Keep it out of your line of sight while not in use.
- Avoid putting anything else in your pocket alongside your phone. When you have a cell phone with metallic items like coins or rings in your pockets, the radiation gets stronger.
- Try to avoid using your Smartphone or other screens just before night.
- Try to exercise at least 15 hours each week, and limit your usage of screens. Discourge a sedentary lifestyle.
Consider testing your sperm if you want to see whether using a cell phone is impacting your fertility. Your sperm count, sperm motility, sperm morphology, and other important aspects of male fertility will be revealed by these results.