Fertility problems affect approximately 14% of couples. Around 40% of those problems in conception are due to an issue with the male partner’s ability to reproduce. Professionals use several measures to assess the overall health of sperm. One of those measures is sperm motility, or the way in which sperm moves. Strong evidence is available that implicates cell phones as damaging to sperm motility, and therefore a man’s ability to provide healthy sperm for conception.
The motility of sperm is categorized based on several factors:
- Whether it is or is not moving: motile vs non-motile
- Whether it moves rapid or slow motility
- Whether it moves on a linear or circular path: progressive or non-progressive motility
The most effective sperm obviously do not fall into the non-motile category. They have a rapid progressive motility and therefore a higher chance of successfully reaching the egg in time to fertilize it. Slow progressively motile sperm may be capable of fertilizing an egg, but have a higher likelihood of dying in the uterus before finding their goal. Non-progressive sperm may be fast or slow, but it is difficult to fertilize an egg with sperm that chase their own tails.
Many sound scientific research studies reveal that exposure to mobile phones reduces the number of progressively motile sperm. Fejes, et al, found that longer the length of exposure, the fewer rapidly progressive sperm there are. La Vignera, et al, also found that rapidly progressively motile sperm decreased in correlation with cell phone exposure, whether examined through direct exposure in a petri dish, or with reported cell phone use compared to motility in ejaculate. Dama and Bhat found that subjects with higher cell phone exposure possessed sperm with lower overall motility and higher proportions of non-progressive motile and slow progressive motile sperm than control subjects with less exposure. Adams, et al, in addition to many other scientific researchers, report more supportive statistics.
Mobile phone subscriptions have increased worldwide “from less than 1 billion in 2000 to over 6 billion in 2012.” Among both adults and children, cell phones have become a natural and relied upon instrument of continual contact with not only business cohorts, but with family. However, it is critical to consider the implications of the vast amount of research that gives evidence to the harm cell phones do to ability to procreate. After all, what good is it to have the tools to communicate effectively if precautions aren’t taken to ensure there is a next generation with whom to communicate.
- Is there a relationship between cell phone use and semen quality?
- Effects of the Exposure to Mobile Phones on Male Reproduction: A Review of the Literature
- Mobile phones affect multiple sperm quality traits: a meta-analysis
- Effect of mobile telephones on sperm quality: A systematic review and meta-analysis