Are electronics and sleep behind increasing male infertility rates?
Low sperm production, abnormal sperm, and blockages, these are all causes of male infertility. A study in the Asian Journal of Pharmaceuticals and Clinical Research indicated that the prevalence of infertility in the general population is 15-20 percent and male infertility factor contributes to 20-40 percent of this rate. Trying to understand the causes behind these high infertility rates is important when trying to treat the underlying causes.
Recent studies published by the journal Sleep have found that the use of electronic and digital media devices have a huge impact on male infertility. The study obtained semen samples from 116 men, aged 21 to 59, undergoing fertility evaluation. The study suggested that smartphone and tablet use in the evening and after bedtime reduced sperm mobility, sperm progressive motility, and sperm concentration. The greater the exposure to SWL (short-wavelength light) emitted from these devices, the higher the percentage of immotile sperm.
It’s not just SWL on the devices that we use every day, it is also ionizing and non-ionizing radiation that has negative effects on spermatogenesis, the process in which sperm is produced in the body. A study published in the journal Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology states that non-ionizing radiations from mobile phones, laptops, computers, microwave ovens, TVs, and Wifi are increasing in numbers and usage. Radiation emissions from these devices affect the testes, which in turn affect sperm count, morphology, mobility, and cause damage to DNA, hormones, and antioxidative enzymes in the body.
Men who use or depend on these devices should try to limit their exposure or use other means to counter the effect of this exposure in order to prevent infertility in the future.