Men who use their mobiles extensively are at an increased risk of damaging their sperm, according to a study by scientists from the Reproductive Research Centre at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Ohio. The researchers said that the microwaves emitted by the mobiles adversely affect the number, mobility and quality of sperm.

The preliminary results of the study were presented by lead researcher Ashok Agarwal in a poster session at the 62nd annual meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine in New Orleans.

However WebMD reports that the “findings do not prove a link between cell phone use and infertility”

The researchers tested the sperm of 364 men being investigated for infertility in Mumbai, India, with their partners. The heaviest mobile phone users among these men were found to have the lowest average sperm counts of 50 million per millilitre (ml).

These men used their cell phones for at least four hours a day. Researchers report that they also had the least healthy sperm and a 25 per cent lower sperm count than men who never used mobiles. Microscopically the sperm were found to be abnormally shaped as well, with just one-fifth appearing normal.

Men who used their cell phones for at least two to four hours a day had an average sperm count of 69 million per ml, besides having moderately healthy sperm. The researchers said that men who claimed to have never used mobile phones had the highest average sperm counts of 86 million per ml. The quality of the sperm was also excellent.

“It is just like using a toothbrush, but mobiles could be having a devastating effect on fertility. It still has to be proved, but it could be having a huge impact because mobiles are so much part of lives,” Dr Agarwal said.

However he told WebMD that the findings were preliminary, “I would not want these findings misinterpreted as showing that cell phone use is a definite cause of decreased [male] fertility. There are still many unanswered questions.”

Cellphones have been viewed as health risks for over a decade, but any specific risk is yet to be proved. It is theorized that the electromagnetic radiation emitted by cellphones causes various health problems. In this case researchers suggest that the radiation damages the DNA of the sperm thus affecting the quality.

Be Sociable, Share!