Just about everyone in the world has one today – a cell phone. But are you aware using one may seriously impair your chances of getting pregnant?
A recent study suggests men are more at risk than woman, but as you need your man to help create the baby you crave, the study is of huge significance to women.
Why Men Are At Risk
So, just what are the risks? Well, even moderate cell phone use can result in men producing lower quality sperm.
Why is this? The researchers discovered that men who regularly use cell phones have higher levels of circulating testosterone, but lower levels of luteinizing hormone (LH).
And why is LH so important? Because it is a vital reproductive hormone, secreted by the pituitary gland in the brain.
Who is Affected?
Study leader Dr Rany Shamloul and his team conducted their research between 1993 and 2007 at an Austrian infertility clinic.
The sperm of over 2,000 men was collected and examined. Men were asked if they owned and used cell phones at the time of collection. Those who used a cell phone on a daily basis were labeled cell phone users.
And based on that premise, the data suggests that male cell phone users have lower quality sperm than those who do not have cell phones.
Why are Cell Phones Damaging?
The researchers think that electromagnetic waves (EMW) emitted by cell phones may have a dual action on male hormone levels and fertility.
The belief is that cell phone EMWs increase the number of testosterone-producing cells in the testes, but also lower levels of luteinizing hormone excreted by the pituitary gland.
This in turn may negatively impact fertility by blocking the conversion of the basic type of testosterone to the more active, potent form of testosterone associated with sperm production and fertility.
Dr Rany admits the findings were “a little bit puzzling”.
“We were expecting to find different results, but the results we did find suggest that there could be some intriguing mechanisms at work.”
Should Men Restrict Cell Phone Use?
If you and your partner are struggling to get pregnant, you may need to negotiate with your man and encourage him to reduce the time he spends chatting on his cell phone.
The findings of this research follow a warning from the UK Government just two months ago which advised people to text or use hands free kits rather than make calls. Taken together, it should give you pause for thought.
The earlier warning by the UK Department of Health said whilst there had been no “clear evidence of adverse health effects” from the use of mobiles or from phone masts, texting or using hands free kits instead of calling would reduce the user’s exposure to harmful radiation emitted by cell phones.
However, it also added: “As people have only been using mobile phones for relatively few years, more research is needed, especially to investigate whether there might be longer term effects.”
The health risks of electromagnetic waves (EMW) in our day-to-day environment is quite a hot issue with often contradictory conclusions depending on which lobby group is presenting the data.
That said, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) warns “There is reason for concern” and advises “prudent avoidance”.
Whilst this article focuses on male cell phone use and the risks to their fertility, you need to be aware of other things in your home and work environment which exposes you and your partner to potentially damaging EMWs, such as computers and microwave ovens.
But maybe that can wait for another day and another post.
(This post was sent to subscribers in a weekly newsletter on June 5 2011).