A joint study conducted by researchers from Israel’s Carmel Medical Center and the Technion in Haifa, has found a correlation between cell phone usage and low sperm counts, the Israeli news site The Times of Israel reported.
According to the study published in theReproductive BioMedicine Online medical journal, sperm concentrations have been continuously declining since the beginning of the 20th century. The study also stated that in 30-40 percent of cases where couples have difficulty conceiving, it is due to male infertility.
Researchers have found that using one’s cell phone for at least an hour daily, or while the device is charging, doubles a man’s chances of having a low sperm concentration, said The Times of Israel.
Additionally, nearly half of men who keep their phones in their front pants pocket (47 percent) were found to have much lower sperm counts whereas only 11 percent of men who carried their phones elsewhere recorded lower sperm concentrations.
Fertility levels were also affected when phones were used or kept at up to a distance of 50 cm (20 inches) from the groin.
According to Israel’s Channel 2, research team leader Dr. Ariel Zilberlicht said that “In light of the results of the study it is certainly recommended [that men] shorten the duration of calls and avoid carrying the device near their groins, sleeping next to it, speaking on it when it’s charging (it is in fact recommended to turn it off when it’s charging) and use headphones or a headset as much as possible.”
An official with Israel’s Asuta sperm bank explained that while there is a correlation between cell phone usage and lower sperm counts, the link is not yet definitive, said The Times of Israel.
“We all have a gut feeling that there is a direct link, whether it be from cellphones or other types of radiation,” said the official.
The study included 106 men and results were analyzed using World Health Organization criteria. The researchers said the findings in the study showed that larger scale studies are needed to gain conclusive evidence.