By Dr Parul Gupta Khanna
Looking at the increasing number of cases of infertility among men, many doctors across the country have started believing that a tech-heavy lifestyle is a major factor. For almost a decade now, studies have been conducted to find out if the use of mobile phones, laptops, or even microwaves can cause infertility in men. In several studies, it was found that sperm motility can be negatively impacted by mobile phone usage or electromagnetic radiation. Sperm ‘motility’ refers to the ability of the sperm to move. If sperm motility is poor, then the sperm is not swimming properly, which leads to infertility.
According to a study in Asian Journal of Pharmaceutical and Clinical Research, the prevalence of infertility in the general population is 15 to 20 percent, where male fertility contributes to 20 – 40 percent of this rate. In India, 23 percent of males suffer from infertility. It has become the need of the hour to understand the causes behind this high rate of male infertility and then treat those underlying causes. Radiation emissions from non-ionising radiations, namely mobile phones, laptops, computers, microwave ovens, televisions, WiFi, phone towers and radars, are affecting the testes, which in turn can affect sperm count, morphology, motility, and cause damage to the DNA, hormones and antioxidative enzymes in the body.
Using a cell phone while in a moving vehicle also causes a significant impact of radiation as the handset tries to maintain signals and data throughout the ride. Some international experts are also stressing upon this concern in order to reduce its impact.
Finding an optimal rest time is important for maintaining sperm health: snoozing for seven to eight hours a night seems to be the best range for your sperm. It’s also a good idea to try and go to bed at the same time every night: frequent shifts in timing can throw off your circadian rhythms and cause metabolic problems.
One has to keep in mind that it’s not about completely cutting off from cellular devices but about understanding and limiting its use on an everyday basis to have a healthy body. Only small changes like, just being aware of where to store the cell phone, can have positive effects. Likewise, as many of us carry our phone in pockets, a habit of keeping cell phones in bags instead can help in restricting the exposure of mobile phone radiation.
(The writer is Consultant and Fertility Specialist, Nova Southend IVF and Fertility, Noida.)