ARE CELL PHONES THE CULPRITS BEHIND MALE INFERTILITY?
Technology related to cell phones and Wi-Fi is evolving. Unfortunately, this evolution has led to increased health hazards because of radiation exposure. The impact of these radiations on male fertility attracts the attention of many researchers. The studies have concluded that cell phones and Wi-Fi have negatively affected the male reproductive system. The parameters commonly involved include sperm count, sperm motility, and DNA characteristics. This may be due to increased temperature and oxidative stress.
DO CELL PHONES AFFECT MALE INFERTILITY?
Cell Phones have become an inevitable part of our daily life. The technology related to mobile phones is an evolving stream, and daily, cell phones with advanced technology are launched. These technologies are more competent and more intelligent. However, along with the connectivity and other benefits, cell phones come with various health risks. Some risks are mild, while others have a long-term impact on health. Radiofrequency radiations have the energy sufficient to generate thermal energy that may affect cells and tissues.
We, as a human, are getting more and more involved with our phones. Although cell phone radiations are non-ionizing, prolonged exposure to them causes severe damage to the reproductive system. We lack face-to-face social interactions and health problems such as eye strain, neck problems and difficulty sleeping.
The effect of cell phones on the reproductive system, especially males, is a topic of continuous research. Various studies have been conducted on the impact of cell phones on different aspects of the male reproductive system, be it sperm characteristics or semen quality.
Researchers did a systematic review and meta-analysis to determine the effect of cell phones on the quality of sperm. The study concluded that there is a negative effect on sperm quality because of mobile phone exposure.
A recent study indicates the probable reasons behind the negative effect of cell phone radiation on male infertility. The study states that the impact on semen quality is reduced because of oxidative stress and the heating effect on the testicular tissues.
In addition, the study concluded that cell phone radiations reduce sperm count, motility, sperm concentration, sperm viability, and semen volume. The researchers advise that mass awareness is needed to raise knowledge about such effects and reduce exposure to mobile radiation.
Both in-vivo and in-vitro studies on the effect of radiofrequency radiation on sperm cells conclude that it adversely affects the testicular proteome and may cause infertility. People exposed to mobile phones more than 4 hours a day, especially those who put their phones in their front pocket, have significantly altered sperm DNA fragmentation. Another study concluded that there is an adverse effect on sperm quality and quantity when phones are kept in the front pocket.
WHAT ABOUT WIFI?
Like cellular radiation, the radiations from Wi-Fi also affect male fertility. Various studies have been done in this context, and most of them concluded that the electromagnetic radiations from Wi-Fi affect male fertility.
In a study conducted on Japanese patients, the rate of sperm death was more in the sample exposed to electromagnetic radiation than in the sample that was not exposed. Researchers also concluded that the extent of damage depends upon the period of exposure. Wi-Fi plays a vital role in reducing fertility rates in the males of developed countries.
DNA integrity, sperm count and sperm motility were significantly affected by the radiations of Wi-Fi. These effects can be attributed to increased oxidative stress and testicular temperature. The study unambiguously stated that exposure to the radiation emitted by the Wi-Fi transmitter is hazardous to the male reproductive system.
Other impacts of these radiations include hormonal changes, apoptosis, decreased brain activity, impaired childhood development, and neuropsychiatric effects.
PROTECTIVE MEASURES TO PREVENT MALE INFERTILITY THROUGH CELL PHONES?
Although cell phones and Wi-Fi networks are currently the lifelines, we users can take measures to reduce the exposure to radiation emitted by these gadgets. Following are some of the steps:
Location of Wi-Fi router: Your Wi-Fi router should be at a place at home that you only visit occasionally. We should keep the router away from the bedroom. Switch off the device when not in use, especially overnight.
Limited use of Wi-Fi devices: Try not to use Wi-Fi devices. For instance, in place of wireless headphones, prefer headphones with wire.
Not placing the laptop on your lap: Placing your laptop on your lap increases the temperature of the abdominal area. Further, the radiation of Wi-Fi directly affects your reproductive system.
Avoid keeping the phone in the front pocket: Various studies conclude that keeping the cell phone in the front pocket negatively affects male fertility.
Aeroplane mode: Keep your phone in aeroplane mode when not used, especially at night. Alternatively, you may put your phone outside the bedroom before going to bed.
EMF absorption: Wi-Fi radiation guard and EMF absorber can reduce exposure to radiofrequency radiation.
Defender shield: Various defender shields for cell phones and laptops are available. You may opt for these defender shields.
Consult with an infertility specialist: If you are exposed to these radiations continuously, you should consult with the best infertility specialist to discuss more on this health hazard. Dr Manu Rajput and Dr Kanu Rajput of Sidri International, the best Ayurvedic clinic in Delhi, are specialists in preserving fertility and treating infertility.
Adams JA, Galloway TS, Mondal D et al. Effect of mobile telephones on sperm quality: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Environ Int. 2014 Sep; 70:106-12
El-Hamd MA, Aboeldahab S. Cell phone and male infertility: An update. J Integr Nephrol Androl 2018; 5:1-5
Adams JA, Galloway TS, Mondal D, Esteves SC, Mathews F. Effect of mobile telephones on sperm 421 quality: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Environ Int. (2014) 70:106–12.
Houston BJ, Nixon B, King BV, De Iuliis GN, Aitken RJ. The effects of radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation on sperm function. Reproduction. (2016) 152:R263–76.
Jaffar FF, Osman K, Ismail NH, Chin K, Ibrahim SF. Adverse Effects of Wi-Fi Radiation on Male Reproductive System: A Systematic Review. Tohoku J. Exp. Med., 2019, 248, 169-179 W