Cell Phones and Sperm Potency
The Daily Mail has published an article suggesting a strong correlation between male infertility and cell phone usage. Since male infertility is the cause of the infertility problems of couples in about 40% of cases, this study could be quite significant, especially if it is replicable.
According to the Daily Mail, the study involved 361 men. Forty never use cell phones, 107 use them fewer than two hours daily, 100 make calls on them between two and four hours per day, and the daily usage of cell phones for the remaining 114 is over four hours.
Scientists measured four indicators of sperm potency: count, viability (that is, if non-swimming sperm are still living), morphology (appearance relative to the norm), and motility (swimming ability).
The main finding of the study was that the more men used cell phones, the larger the reduction in each of the indicators of sperm potency. Men using their cell phones over four hours per day had a twenty-five percent lower sperm count than non-users. Motility of the sperm of those men was down by a third, and only a fifth of their sperm appeared normal when examined under a microscope.
Professor Ashok Agarwal, the lead researcher in this study, suggested several reasons why cell phones may cause poor sperm quality in men. However, he also stated that it was too soon to issue warnings to men about cell phone usage and infertility. “We still have a long way to go to prove this but we have just had another study approved,” he said.
Of course with all studies, one must be careful not to confuse correlation with causation. There may be other factors in common amongst heavy cell phone users that should be examined before leaping to the conclusion that the cell phones themselves are the issue. In other words, cell phone usage may be connected with other traits such as relative inactivity, excessive time spent in warm places such as cars or trains, stress level, or poor eating habits, all of which were pointed out by Dr. Allan Pacey, an expert in andrology from the University of Sheffield.
This cell phone issue is something to keep an eye on, anyway.
Hat tip: RightWingNews