March 14th, 2018
Smartphone use and Semen Quality is relatively new – having been popular only the last 10 years or so – but now it’s hard to imagine someone without one. Even if someone didn’t have a smartphone, computers and laptops and WiFi constantly surround them. Because these devices haven’t been around that long, it’s difficult to say with any certainty what effects they might have on long-term health, including semen quality.
Because smartphones emit low-level electromagnetic radiation (EMR), it’s possible that they can disturb normal cell functions in our bodies. Have you ever stayed up late staring at your phone and had trouble sleeping? Well, the same could be said for sperm. The more you are exposed to radiation, for example by keeping your phone in your pocket, the more difficulty sperm has functioned. We don’t know how or to what extent smartphones affect semen quality but because sperm is affected by radiation exposure, that provides enough reason to investigate the possibility that cell phones may be contributing to lower-quality sperm and potentially some cases of infertility.
Ironically enough, researchers are actually working on a smartphone app that can test sperm count. Often, fertility testing is expensive and many men avoid going to the doctor. This app allows you to load a small amount of a semen sample onto a disposable microchip. Then you put the microchip into the cell phone attachment through a slot. The attachment turns the phone’s camera into a microscope and records the sperm’s movement. After the sample is loaded, the app analyzes the video to identify sperm cells and track their movements.
There are many reasons a male may be infertile or have the low sperm count. There is not enough evidence to definitively blame smartphones for fertility issues – but many doctors warn to be smart about phone placement.
Men who are experiencing infertility often report reduced sexual satisfaction and increased stress. A specialist in male infertility can help you determine what factors you can modify to meet your fertility goals. For more information on male infertility email us [email protected] or call 1-310-652-2600 to speak with a physician that can better assist you with any further questions you may have.