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‘Heavy mobile phone usage may damage sperm’

Posted by By Jonah Iboma with agency report on 2006/10/25 | Views: 842 |

‘Heavy mobile phone usage may damage sperm’


According to a research conducted in Ohio, United States, men who use mobile phones for four hours or more a day had fewer sperm. Besides, it noted that the quality of sperm found in such individuals dropped when compared to those who used mobiles less.


A new study has suggested that heavy use of mobile phones can drastically reduce fertility in men.

According to a research conducted in Ohio, United States, men who use mobile phones for four hours or more a day had fewer sperm. Besides, it noted that the quality of sperm found in such individuals dropped when compared to those who used mobiles less.

The study, according to a report by the British Broadcasting Corporation on Monday, involved 364 men and was presented to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine in New Orleans.

But an expert in the United Kingdom said it was unlikely that the phones were to blame, as they were usually not held near the testes.

Dr. Allan Pacey of British Fertility Society said, " If you are holding [the phone] up to your head to speak a lot, it makes no sense that it is having a direct effect on your testes."

The team from the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Ohio tested the sperm of 364 men who were being treated at fertility clinics in Mumbai, India, with their partners.

It was found that the heaviest users, those who used their phones for more than four hours a day had the lowest average sperm counts, at 50m per millilitre and the least healthy sperm.

Men who used their phones for between two and four hours a day averaged sperm counts of 69m per ml and had moderately healthy sperm.

The study added that those who said they did not use mobile phones at all had the highest average sperm counts, of 86m per ml, and their sperm was of the highest quality seen.

Dr. Ashok Agarwal, who led the research, told a New Orleans conference that the study did not prove mobiles damaged fertility, but said it showed more research was warranted.

"There was a significant decrease in the most important measures of sperm health and that should definitely be reflected in a decrease in fertility, which is seen worldwide.

"People use mobile phones without thinking twice what the consequences might be. 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."

He suggested that radiation from mobile phones might harm sperm by damaging DNA, affecting the cells in the testes which produce testosterone or the tubes where sperm is produced. Mobile phones have long been suspected of posing a health problem to users, although this is yet to be proved.

But a British expert cast doubt on the suggested link between mobile phone use and infertility in the men studied.

Pacey, a senior lecturer in andrology at the University of Sheffield, said, "This is a good study, but I don’t think it tackles the issue.

"If you’re using your phone for four hours a day, presumably it is out of your pocket for longer.

"That raises a big question: how is it that testicular damage is supposed to occur?"

Pacey, who is honorary secretary of the British Fertility Society, added, "If you are holding it up to your head to speak a lot, it makes no sense that it is having a direct effect on your testes."

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