Men who carry a cellphone in their pants pocket may harm their sperm and reduce their chances of having children, a new review warns.
The research team analyzed the findings of 10 studies that examined how cellphone exposure may affect male fertility. Among men with no exposure to cellphones, 50 to 85 percent of their sperm had normal motility. That fell by an average of 8 percent among men exposed to cellphones. Similar effects were seen for sperm viability, according to the study published June 9 in the journal Environment International.
The effects of cellphone exposure on sperm concentration (the number of sperm per unit of semen) were unclear, the investigators noted.
“Given the enormous scale of mobile phone use around the world, the potential role of this environmental exposure needs to be clarified,” study leader Fiona Mathews, of the biosciences department at the University of Exeter in England, said in a university news release.
“This study strongly suggests that being exposed to radio-frequency electromagnetic radiation from carrying mobiles in trouser pockets negatively affects sperm quality. This could be particularly important for men already on the borderline of infertility, and further research is required to determine the full clinical implications for the general population.”