Gentlemen who use their smartphones for even as little as an hour each day can experience a significant drop in their fertility levels, according to a team of experts in Israel.
In a study featured in the journal Reproductive BioMedicine, Professor Martha Dirnfeld and her colleagues at the Technion University in Haifa, Israel examined how mobile phone use among men can affect their fertility. They monitored the health of more than 100 individuals who attended a fertility clinic for an entire year.
The researchers discovered that men who chose to keep their smartphones in their pockets during the day experienced abnormal levels in their sperm concentration in 47 percent of the cases observed. This is considerably higher compared to the 11 percent of cases in the general population.
Dirnfeld explained that they found a reduction in the amount and quality of active swimming sperm in the samples that they analyzed.
She said that they believe it could be caused by the heating of the sperm as a result of electromagnetic activity or heat generated by smartphones.
Dirnfeld and her team found that the sperm levels of men who used their smartphones while charging and those who kept their gadgets beside them while sleeping were affected as well.
The findings of the study support the long-standing belief of some people that using smartphones too much could significantly impact the ability of individuals to conceive children.
Professor Geeta Nargund, medical director of the UK-based fertility clinic Create Fertility, said that previous reports have been made about the possibility that too much exposure to mobile phones could negatively affect the motility and viability of sperm in some men.
"Thermal effects could increase the temperature of testes since mobile phones are carried in trouser pockets, Nargund said. "Age, smoking and other lifestyle factors also need to be taken into account."
Nargund added that men should consider the findings outlined in recent studies regarding the potential impact of smartphone use on sperm quality and try to at least reduce their exposure to the effects of such devices.
She also pointed out that further studies have to be made in order to find out if the negative effects on fertility are being caused by heating or radiation or even both from mobile phones.