In recent decades, mobile devices have become very important in our lives. To date, many studies have been conducted on the side effects of mobile phones on health. While the impact of smartphones on eyesight is no longer a secret, they can also hide less obvious risks. Among them, the quality of the semen.
Men who use their mobile phones before going to bed may end up being less fertile. And it is because, exposure to screens that emit light at night influences sperm quality, according to a study carried out by a team of scientists from the Sleep and Fatigue Institute, Assuta Medical Center, in Tel-Aviv, Israel.
To carry out the study, researchers collected semen samples from 116 men between the ages of 21 and 59 and tested them. Their goal was to assess fertility. In addition, study participants completed questionnaires about their sleep habits and their use of electronic devices.
It was discovered that men who used their phones more frequently at night had a reduced concentration of sperm, meaning they had a limited ability to flow properly.
Radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation emitted by these electronic devices is the main factor that is associated with these changes. It raises the sperm temperature, affecting its production, notes the new study published in the journal Sleep. To produce good quality sperm, the testicles must remain cooler than the rest of the body — which is why they are separated from the male torso.
“As far as we know this is the first study to report these types of correlations between sperm quality and the time exposed to shortwave light emitted by digital media, particularly smartphones and tablets, at night and after lying down,” emphasized Dr Amit Green, who led the study.
Israeli scientists also found that men who slept longer had higher numbers of sperm with better mobility compared to those who did not get enough rest.
Other studies have already explored possible links between cell phone use and semen health. Israeli researchers from the Carmel Medical Center, for example, suggested that men who talk on the phone for more than an hour a day are more likely to have abnormal sperm concentration.
Meanwhile, a study conducted by the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in the US concluded that those who carry mobile phones in their front pockets for more than four hours a day tend to produce poorer quality semen.