Study: Yes, Cellphone Use Can Lead to Lowered Sperm Counts

Cell phone communication tower with multiple antennas against a blue skyMen who talk on cellphones for more than an hour a day double their risk of damaging their sperm count, according to a new study by the Technion Israel Institute of Technology.

A research team led by Yulia Sheinfeld, M.D. analyzed the results of some 106 men who underwent fertility evaluations between 2011 and 2012. They claim to have found “significant causal relationships” between smartphone use and reduced sperm viability.

The study, which was published in the journal Reproductive BioMedicine Online, reports that not only does speaking on the phone for an hour a day allegedly do serious damage, but carrying the phone close to one’s groin and talking on the phone while it’s charging are the two activities most likely to do damage, the researchers found.

“In light of these findings, it’s absolutely recommended to cut the duration of our conversations over the phone, not to carry devices near the groin area, not to sleep beside it, not to speak on it at the same time that it’s charging (in fact, it’s best to shut it off and let it charge), and to use a headset as much as possible,” said Ariel Zilverlicht, a Carmel Medical Center gynecologist who worked on the study.

This could be seriously bad news for Americans. According to the Pew Research Center:

67% of cell owners find themselves checking their phone for messages, alerts, or calls — even when they don’t notice their phone ringing or vibrating.

44% of cell owners have slept with their phone next to their bed because they wanted to make sure they didn’t miss any calls, text messages, or other updates during the night.

29% of cell owners describe their cell phone as “something they can’t imagine living without.”

If the study is correct, many American men could be exposing themselves to serious danger without having any targeted protection.

“Studies since 2006 have confirmed that if a man keeps his cell phone in talk mode in his pocket, sperm quality and quantity will likely decrease. The hope now is that couples who wish to have children make sure they invest in EMF protection rather than face the disappointment of infertility,” said Virginia Brown, President, BioElectric Shield Co.

This is not the first study of its kind. A 2014 review by England’s University of Exeter concluded that electromagnetic radiation (EMR) reduced sperm motility by 8% and viability by 9%, theorizing that a phone’s rise in temperature might be a main factor.

A 2013 study by environmental advocacy group NGO EWG dismissed heat as the issue, but found similar problems amongst men who answered calls via Bluetooth while carrying their phones on a belt holster.

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