Billions of men worldwide use cellphones, laptops, microwaves, and other devices every day, exposing themselves to high amounts of EMF radiation, which heavily affects their fertility, say, experts.
Many EMF-emitting devices are regularly used in front pockets or on laps, which puts them in close proximity to the male reproductive organs. Because of this, phones and laptops can have surprising effects on male fertility with the power to devastate hopeful parents.
In this post, we’ll dive deep into EMF-induced male infertility, including what the research says and how you can protect yourself. So, let’s begin.
Table of Contents
Male Fertility & Infertility
Male infertility is a sensitive subject, but it’s one that affects a staggering one in 25 men. And infertility rates are ever-increasing.
According to this 2013 article from the Wall Street Journal, “some experts are raising the alarm over what some are calling a ‘sperm crisis’ because they believe men’s sperm counts have been decreasing for a decade or more.”
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One recent analysis found that in France, the sperm concentration of men decreased by nearly one-third between 1989 and 2005. Most but not all studies from several European nations with large databases and the ability to track health records have found that over the past 15 years or so, the counts of healthy men ages 18 to 25 have significantly decreased. This comes after a prominent study from the 1990s suggested that sperm count has decreased by half over the last half-century.The Wall Street Journal
The Role of High Tech in Fertility
How do you tackle a very private, emotionally charged issue? Revolutions like new home testing for male fertility are breaking down barriers. The test uses a cheap device that attaches to a mobile phone with an app.
Sperm samples can be analyzed in the privacy of your own home. It’s thought the device could become as widespread as home pregnancy testing. This could prove to be an important boost in the fight against male infertility, allowing men to monitor their sperm counts and collect accurate data.
So, in simple words, technology is revolutionizing the male fertility industry, and it’s good news. But not all technology is beneficial to men’s reproductive health. Have a look.
Technology Isn’t Always Positive
Although it’s only because of modern technology that we’ve been able to make significant progress in the area of men’s reproductive health, not all technology offers the same effect.
For example, research studies say that mobile phones could be making infertility worse.
And it’s not just because of their EMF emissions. Mobile phones lead us to stay up late at night, surfing the web and playing games, stimulating our brains when we should be sleeping. And blue light exposure from phones has been linked to problems like poor sleep and sleep deprivation.
We know that stress and obesity can cause problems conceiving, and being too tired or too wired in the bedroom to perform any baby-making duties doesn’t help either.
EMF Radiation Decreases Sperm & Sperm Quality
One of the researchers investigating the role that cell phone and WiFi radiation might be playing in this trend is Ashok Agarwal of the Cleveland Clinic. Dr. Agarwal has published multiple studies on this question.
For example, Dr. Agarwal’s 2007 study, “Effect of cell phone usage on semen analysis in men attending infertility clinic: an observational study,” studied the relationship between exposure to cell phone radiation and infertility in 361 men, divided into four groups:
- Men who did not use cell phones
- Men who used cell phones for less than 2 hours a day
- Those who used cell phones between 2 and 4 hours a day
- And finally, those who used cell phones for more than 4 hours a day
Dr. Agarwal’s results showed statistically significant differences in fertility and sperm quality between these four groups.
More significantly, these results demonstrate what is called a “dose-response” relationship between exposure to cell phones and decreased fertility.
As the 2007 report concludes: “The decrease in sperm parameters was dependent on the duration of daily exposure to cell phones and independent of the initial semen quality.”
In other words, the more a man used a cell phone, the less healthy that man’s sperm was.
And this is just one of several studies pointing to similar conclusions.
Three Ways that EMF Can Impact Male Fertility
Here are the different ways that exposure to EMF can impact male fertility:
Lowered Sperm Count
EMF radiation has been connected to lower sperm count and quality. In fact, studies have found that long-term exposure can decrease sperm concentrations by nearly a third, especially that of healthy sperm.
This means that sperm motility, count, and viability were all significantly impacted by years of exposure to EMF from cellphones, microwaves, and other devices. And inarguably, lowered sperm count and quality reduce the statistical chances of successful conception, therefore inhibiting male fertility.
Decreased Testosterone Levels
Another study found that men who regularly used cellphones generally had lower testosterone levels.
Testosterone regulates male libido, sexual response and performance, and semen production. So, a decrease in the body’s volume of the hormone can result in sexual disorders like erectile dysfunction, inhibiting a man’s ability to perform sexually, as well as lowered sperm count and quality.
Affected Sperm DNA
EMF is genotoxic, meaning it can harm your DNA– sometimes irreparably. Most of the DNA in your body exists in pairs. This means that if one strand of your DNA is damaged, the cell has the potential to repair it based on the other copy in the cell.
Sperm is different. Sperm only has one strand of DNA (as it’s designed to be paired and mixed with the DNA in a woman’s egg). So, when the DNA in sperm is damaged, the body cannot repair that damage.
Researchers into EMF and male fertility have found that sperm placed near laptops had significant DNA damage and fragmentation.
Since it’s each sperm’s DNA that acts as its navigation toward the ovum, this means each sperm had a much smaller chance of producing viable offspring and fertilizing an egg.
How to Reduce Your EMF Exposure to Prevent Fertility Problems?
Luckily, there are several ways to reduce your exposure to EMF radiation and take better care of your fertility and overall health.
Limit Your Exposure
The first thing you might want to do is limit your EMF exposure. You can follow these two key rules of EMF protection—Minimize Use & Maximize Distance.
What does this mean?
Minimize use generally means cutting back on your use of EMF-emitting gadgets when you can. Here are a few examples.
- Turn off your WiFi router at night
- Don’t buy smart stuff you don’t need
- Stop mindlessly scrolling your social media
- Reduce binge-watching media content
Minimizing your tech use isn’t just limited to the things mentioned above. You just need to identify your unnecessary tech use and cut back on it.
The second rule is to maximize your distance from technology.
All kinds of radiation on this planet and those that come from outer space are bound by one rule— the power of radiation weakens with distance. This phenomenon applies to EMFs from your gadgets and appliances as well. So, when your gadgets are turned on and emitting EMF, try to keep as much distance from them as you can. Here are a few ways you can do that.
- Keep your WiFi router as far away as possible
- Use speakerphone or a radiation-free headset
- Don’t use your laptop in your lap
- Keep your furniture away from outlets
Again, it’s not limited to the things mentioned here. Try moving around in your house and locating EMF sources that you can shift to create maximum distance between them and your body.
Avoid Putting Your Phone in Your Front Pocket
If you just take away one thing from this post, let it be this— never put your phone in your front pocket.
This is because when you put your phone directly against your body, it becomes one of the biggest— if not the biggest— sources of your EMF exposure. And since your very sensitive reproductive organs are near your pockets, this can create a number of problems.
If you read the owner’s manual carefully, you’ll find that many cellphone companies like Apple discourage you from carrying your phone in your pocket. Because if you do, the EMF you receive will far exceed the safety standards.
So, DO NOT carry your phone in your pocket. And if you do, turn the airplane mode on.
Learn more about ‘safer cell phone habits’ in this amazing article by the Environmental Working Group, entitled “EWG’s Guide to Safer Cell Phone Use.” So, give it a read.
Don’t Use Your Laptop Directly on Your Lap.
Many people don’t seem to understand how EMF travels. It doesn’t move in one direction. In fact, it comes out from all possible sides of an EMF source. For example, when you’re using a laptop that’s connected to the internet, it’s emitting EMF from both the top and bottom.
So, when you use your laptop on your lap, it exposes your reproductive organs to powerful EMF emissions.
So, even though the product literally has “lap” in its name, you should never use your laptop on your lap.
Learn more about this in my post, “The Dangers of Using Your Laptop On Your Lap.”
Use EMF-Blocking Products to Protect Yourself.
Although we will always advocate against carrying your phone in your pocket or using your laptop on your lap, we also understand that doing these things is necessary sometimes.
So, when you do have to carry your phone in your pocket or use your laptop on your lap, consider using EMF protection products to prevent unnecessary exposure.
Our SYB store features lab-tested EMF shielding products to help you with this. Here are some of the products I recommend that you check out.
How EMF Affects Sperm & Eggs Differently
So far, we’ve talked about how EMF radiation, such as from a cell phone carried in a pocket, can harm sperm, causing infertility and subfertility in men. But what about women’s eggs?
Two Key Differences
There are two key differences between the reproductive cells in men (sperm) and in women (eggs) that affect how they respond to cell phone radiation.
The first is that male reproductive cells are outside the body. This leaves them more exposed to radiation, for example, when you keep your cell phone in your pocket. Females carry their eggs on the inside of their bodies, which means they are more shielded from electromagnetic forces.
The second key difference is that men regenerate their sperm daily. In stark contrast, women are born with all the eggs they will ever have. This means that damage to sperm is not a permanent condition, whereas damage incurred to female eggs is a permanent condition. If the eggs in a female are damaged, no more will be generated.
So, sperm is more vulnerable than eggs, and women are inherently more protected from genetic damage to their eggs.
However, if the eggs of a woman incur genetic damage, that damage is permanent, whereas men will regenerate their supply of reproductive material each day.
Women Have Other Related Health Risks from EMF Radiation
While women do not need to worry as much about fertility risks from EMF radiation, women have their own concerns about EMF radiation exposure. You can learn more about those here.
We can’t get rid of EMF. Most things in our modern world depend on it. But we also can’t keep exposing ourselves to this dangerous radiation.
So, what’s the solution here?
In the late 1500s, Paracelsus, a Swiss physician, said, “All things are poisons, for there is nothing without poisonous qualities. It is only the dose which makes a thing poison.”
And like most things in life, this applies to EMF as well. The amount of EMF you face on a daily basis is directly related to the types of effects it has on your health.
So, for maximum health, you just need to ensure that your exposure remains at the bare minimum. Check out my “EMF Healthy Living Tips” page for more information on reducing your EMF exposure to a safer, healthier level without having to quit the convenience of technology.