Using your mobile phone frequently may be linked to a lower sperm concentration and total sperm count, according to new research conducted by the University of Geneva (UNIGE). However, the study did not find any association between the use of mobile devices and low sperm motility or morphology.
The research also indicated that where the phone was kept, such as trouser pockets, was not linked to lower concentration and count levels. However, the number of participants who reported not carrying their phone close to their body was too small to draw a definitive conclusion on this point.
Various environmental and lifestyle factors have been suggested to explain the decline in semen quality observed over the past 50 years, but the role of electromagnetic radiation emitted by mobile phones has yet to be proven.
The researchers analyzed data from 2,886 Swiss men aged 18 to 22, recruited between 2005 and 2018 at six military conscription centers. They discovered that sperm concentration was significantly higher in the group of men who did not use their phone more than once a week (56.5 million per milliliter) compared to those who used their phone more than 20 times a day (44.5 million per milliliter) – a difference of 21%.
This disparity decreased over the course of the study, suggesting that 4G may be less harmful than 2G. Martin Roosli, associate professor at Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH), stated that “This trend corresponds to the transition from 2G to 3G, and then from 3G to 4G, that has led to a reduction in the transmitting power of phones.”
Semen quality is determined by factors such as sperm concentration, total sperm count, sperm motility, and sperm morphology. Previous studies have shown a decrease in semen quality over the past 50 years, with environmental factors like pesticides and radiation, as well as lifestyle habits like diet, alcohol, stress, and smoking, thought to be contributing factors.
The research findings were published in Fertility and Sterility. However, experts emphasize that there is no need for alarm. Professor Alison Campbell, chief scientific officer of the Care Fertility Group, stated that “This is a fascinating and novel study which should not cause alarm or drastic changes in habits. Men looking to conceive or improve their sperm health should exercise, eat a balanced diet, maintain a healthy weight, avoid smoking and limit alcohol, and seek help if they are having problems conceiving.”