The Techno world is ideal for self-sophistication, but studies have indicated the numerous damages it has on fertility and specifically male fertility. The latest findings indicate that males who carry and regularly use the Bluetooth technology have higher chances of having a reduced sperm motility and viability.
This short-range wireless technology is commonly used to transfer data from or to mobile phones, laptops, and other electronic devices, but it has its associated silent effects.
In a 2009 study published in the Fertility and Sterility Journal revealed the effects of the radiofrequency electromagnetic waves (RF-EMW) emitted from mobile phones on semen. Ohio researchers conducted this in vitro pilot study to evaluate the viability and motility (major sperm parameters) and assess any DNA damage that results from the exposure to the radiofrequency electromagnetic wave
The small sample size consisted of semen samples from 9 infertile males and 23 healthy donors. Agarwal and colleagues divided the samples into two groups, i.e. one exposed to the radiofrequency electromagnetic waves for one hour and the other sample unexposed. Samples that had been exposed to the RF-EMW showed a statistically significant reduction in the sperm motility and viability. The results between the unexposed samples and the exposed samples were; Viability- 58.97 ± 14.81% and 52.33 ± 13.21%, respectively, and motility- 52.11 ± 18.34% and 48.62 ± 17.36% respectively.
In this study, DNA damaged with an increase in oxidative stress and a decline in the antioxidant activity associated with the semen samples exposed to RF-EMW was witnessed.
Furthermore, an article published in the Open Reproductive Science Journal in 2011 suggested that mobile phones and other cellular devices were capable of generating electrical currents which have the ability to alter the hormone environment and the testicular microenvironment necessary for sperm production, motility, volume, and morphology.
In this study, an evidence of DNA damage with an increase in oxidative stress and a decline in antioxidant activity associated with the semen samples exposed to RF-EMW
Similarly, in 2008, the Cleveland Clinic researchers published an article in Fertility and Sterility confirming that men should be cautious of using hand-free devices with a mobile phone in their pant pocket. Having collected the semen samples from 32 men, the doctors divided each sample into two specimens. One half was placed about an inch away from an 850 Mhz frequency cell phone in talk mode for one hour. The distance considered is the typical distance between the testes and a pant pocket.
Findings indicated that radiofrequency electromagnetic waves emitted from cell phones can impair sperm quality. Sperms that were exposed to radiofrequency electromagnetic waves had higher levels of damaging free radicals. Lower sperm motility (the ability to swim or move), viability and possibly greater oxidative stress.
In this study, no significant difference in the DNA was witnessed between the exposed and unexposed samples. Further studies consider placing the sperm samples at greater distances to ascertain the effect of RF-EMW on the semen.
Further studies are being conducted to retrieve the extent of damage of the radiofrequency electromagnetic waves on the semen samples, but the above-provided case studies confirm the danger of RF-EMW on male fertility. Therefore, males should reduce their exposure to these RF-EMW by monitoring their device’s distance and their reproductive parts.