New research has found a possible link between frequent cell phone use and lower sperm counts in men, shedding light on the ongoing mystery of falling sperm counts and rising infertility rates. The study, conducted by Swiss scientists from the University of Geneva and the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, involved 2,886 men aged 18 to 22 who were asked to track their mobile phone use and provide information on their lifestyle and general health.
The researchers analyzed the quantity and quality of the participants' sperm and found that men who used their phones more than 20 times a day had significantly lower sperm counts and sperm concentrations compared to those who only used their phones once a week. The difference in measurements was around a fifth for both metrics. The study also revealed that men who used their phones frequently had a higher risk of having a low overall sperm count and low sperm concentrations below the World Health Organization's reference values for fertile men.
Interestingly, the study found that the association between phone use and sperm count became less pronounced over time, corresponding to the transition from 2G to 3G networks and from 3G to 4G networks. The researchers believe that the reduction in transmitting power of phones in more modern networks may have contributed to this decrease in the impact on sperm quality.
It's important to note that the study is observational in nature and cannot definitively establish cell phone usage as a cause for lower sperm counts. The researchers are conducting a new trial to measure the impact of electromagnetic waves and different types of phone use more precisely using a smartphone app.
The issue of falling sperm counts has been a cause for concern for decades, with experts warning of a looming fertility crisis. Various factors of modern life, such as pollution, alcohol and drug use, increasing temperatures, stress, poor diet, sedentary lifestyle, and exposure to chemicals, have been suggested as potential causes. However, not all scientists agree on the decline in sperm counts, and measuring sperm count accurately can be challenging.
Further research is needed to better understand the effects of cell phone use on health and fertility. As newer networks spread and new telecoms technology emerges, the reduced transmission power of phones may have a greater impact, highlighting the importance of ongoing investigation into this issue.