Living without cell phones or the Internet would be unimaginable for most, not to mention unproductive – a lot of us work, connect, and learn with the help of technology. On the other hand, people tend to forget or are unaware that cell phones and WIFI carry potential health risks due to wireless radiation or electromagnetic radiation (EMF).
Do cell phones and WIFI cause infertility and if they do, then what steps can be taken to reduce the negative impact of EMF emitted by these technologies?
The link between EMF emissions and male infertility
Numerous research has shown that age, weight, psychological stress, alcohol, and exposure to environmental pollutants can adversely impact on fertility.
Focusing on the effects of EMF in particular, one of the earliest studies on the effect of EMF to fertility was done by Aristotle University in Greece (1997). Twelve mice “couples” were placed in locations close to radiofrequency (RF) transmitters and became increasingly infertile, ending in irreversibly infertility.
A more recent study done in 2007 by Dr. Agarwal stated that the usage of RF devices such as mobile phones, WIFI, and laptops that emit EMF harmed the motility, count, and capability of the male sperm. Another study done by Australia’s University of Newcastle confirmed that 3G mobile signals caused negative effects on human sperm.
How exactly do cell phones and WIFI cause infertility in males?
1. Reduced sperm count
In 2007, Dr. Agarwal divided 361 men into four groups. The first group did not use any cell phones. The second group used cell phones less than 2 hours per day. The third group used cell phones above 2 hours but less than 4 hours, and the last group used cell phones for more than 4 hours.
Dr. Agarwal found that the first group did not experience any adverse effect on the sperm count, while the rest of the group did, with group 4 being the most affected.
2. Decreased motility
According to a study in 2005 by Kilgallon SJ, Simmons LW., people who carried their cell phones with them in their trousers had a decreased sperm motility. Motility means how fast a sperm can travel.
In addition to this, the same study indicated that men who used cell phones for an extended period hurt their sperm morphology (form) as well.
3. Reduced viability
Sperm viability refers to the percentage of live sperm in the semen sample. According to research in 2006 by Erogul O, Oztas E, Yildirim I, and in 2012 by La Vignera S, Condorelli RA, EMF caused a drastic change in the testes of men using cell phones for an extended amount of time. These results indicated that EMF harms the viability of the sperm and reduces fertility in men.
4. Lowered testosterone levels
In addition to this, both WIFI and cell phones are linked with low testosterone levels in males. According to a study done in Riyadh, male rats that were exposed to EMF rays for 30 minutes a day had much lower testosterone levels than the rats that were not.
5. Overproduction of ROS
According to a study in 2014, the EMF radiations from cell phones overproduced reactive oxygen species which causes DNA fragmentation. These findings have clear implications for the safety of extensive cell phone use by males as it potentially affects both their fertility and the health and wellbeing of their children.
How to improve male fertility by reducing EMF exposure
I. Avoid putting your phone in your pocket
To improve male fertility, do not put your cell phone in your pocket, and if you do, make sure to switch the phone to airplane mode. Doubling the distance between yourself and your phone can often decrease EMF radiation up to 70%.
II. Create a EMF free zone at night
Think about creating a WIFI free zone in the bedroom and living spaces. This can be done as easily as switching off the WIFI router before going to sleep. Cell phones can be stored in the hallway, away from your bed.
III. Do not put laptops directly on your lap
We know that it is convenient to work on the couch and put the laptop on our lap. However, by doing so we are putting the source of EMF right on top of reproduction organs. This can cause reduced fertility as discussed above.
IV. Use shielding
The tactic of shielding can be used to reduce EMF exposure since it is nearly impossible to perfectly isolate all sources of EMF. If you are surrounded by a lot of devices and EMF-emitting technology whether at home or at work, consider shielding yourself with EMF radiation protection fabric or an anti-radiation blanket.
Hopefully, this article has helped increase your awareness on the topic of EMF exposure and fertility as well as the quick and simple ways you can reduce the negative effects in the long run.