The Latest Curious Case of Mobile Phones, Radiation, and Male Fertility
Men, your phone is not a wallet. So why do you keep it in your front pocket? It may be a convenient place to put your handheld devices but studies have consistently shown that it might not be the best place. Where you see a pocket, medical health professionals see a much larger problem brewing down under.
In 2021, research conducted in Korea concluded that mobile phone proximity to male testicles can have a negative impact on a man’s sperm count — its motility (ability of the sperm to swim), viability (the number of living vs. non-living sperm), and overall quality.
So Is Your Smartphone Making You Infertile?
Mobile phone radiation, a type of radiofrequency radiation that gets emitted in the form of electromagnetic waves invisible to the naked eye, has been linked to brain and salivary gland tumours, behavioural problems in children, and neurological problems. Research found that very high exposure to radiofrequency radiation can even damage male fertility.
Here’s How Mobile Can Affect Your Sperm Health:
Voice and Data Transmission
Your mobile phone communicates with nearby cell towers through radio waves when you use it to make calls, send text messages, or access the internet. These radio waves, which fall within the radiofrequency spectrum, carry the information needed for voice and data transmission.
Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
When you connect your mobile phone to Wi-Fi networks or use Bluetooth accessories, the phone emits radiofrequency radiation to establish and maintain these wireless connections.
NFC (Near Field Communication)
Most smartphones nowadays come equipped with a built-in NFC feature for tasks like contactless payments and data transfer, emitting radiofrequency radiation in the process. This can also be detrimental to your sperm health and quality.
PREVENTING MALE FERTILITY
The potential impacts of putting your phone in your front pocket long-term can quash any man’s dream of having a family. Though there are many factors that can affect male fertility such as genetics, medical conditions, environmental exposures, as well as lifestyle choices (diet, smoking, alcohol); reducing the amount of time your phone is in close proximity to your organs can play a pivotal role in improving your overall reproductive health:
Take fertility supplements
Fertility supplements, such as PROfortil, are dietary additions developed to aid the male reproductive system and potentially improve sperm health. These supplements often include micronutrients that are essential for sperm production and function. Vitamin E, selenium, and zinc are among the recommended ingredients that can help protect sperm cells from oxidative stress caused by free radicals and reactive oxygen species. Other ingredients like L-carnitine have been known for the ability to enhance sperm motility, making it easier for sperm to swim toward the egg.
Ensuring that the body has an adequate supply of these nutrients can support healthy sperm development. Additionally, when choosing your fertility supplements, it is important to first research those which have been independently tested for quality and purity. Be on the lookout for the ones that make miraculous claims or have not undergone extensive clinical trials.
Get a professional opinion
If you or your partner are having problems conceiving, it would be best to consult with a healthcare provider or a reproductive specialist who can assess your specific situation and recommend appropriate treatment plans. If surgery is required, these are potential solutions that you can inquire into:
Varicocele repair: A varicocele is a condition where sperm production gets affected by dilated veins in the scrotum, a potential cause for increased scrotal temperature. Male fertility can be improved through surgical correction.
Vasectomy reversal: If a previous vasectomy was performed, a surgical procedure is able to reconnect the vas deferens (sperm duct), hence allowing the passage of sperm.
Repair of blockages: Through surgical procedures, blockages in the male reproductive tract which may be preventing sperm from reaching the ejaculate can be corrected.
In cases where natural conception becomes improbable, assisted reproductive techniques (ART) procedures such as in vitro fertilisation (IVF) or intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) can be used. These methods involve collecting sperm and directly injecting it into an egg or fertilising an egg outside the body before transferring it to the female partner’s uterus.
If a man is unable to ejaculate sperm or has a very low sperm count, sperm can be retrieved directly from the testes or epididymis through procedures like testicular sperm extraction (TESE) or percutaneous epididymal sperm aspiration (PESA).
Lead a healthy lifestyle
A healthy lifestyle can significantly contribute to the treatment of overall reproductive health, as several lifestyle factors can affect sperm fertility. For starters — especially for those of you who have an office job, it’s important to make time for a balanced diet and regular exercise to maintain a healthy weight. If you are a frequent drinker or smoker (or both), you will need to cut down on these habits as well, as they can negatively impact sperm quality. On top of that, limit your exposure to environmental factors that may be harmful to your sperm — such as radiation, excessive heat (sauna, hot baths), and toxic chemicals.
If all else fails, learning to manage stress is another way to combat ailing reproductive health, preventing sperm production from being stagnated by chronic stress. Understandably, impotency can be a challenging experience for not only men but both partners. Should this predicament persist, perhaps it is time to seek counselling or support groups to help manage the emotional stress associated with infertility. After all, it takes two to make it work.