Men who keep a mobile phone in their trouser pocket could be inadvertently damaging their chances of becoming a father, according to a study.
Previous research has suggested that Radio-frequency electromagnetic radiation (RF-EMR) emitted by the devices can have a detrimental effect on male fertility.
Most of the global adult population own mobile phones and around 14% of couples in high and middle income countries have difficulty conceiving.
A team led by Dr Fiona Mathews, of Biosciences at the University of Exeter in the UK, conducted a systematic review of the findings from ten studies, including 1,492 samples.
“Given the enormous scale of mobile phone use around the world, the potential role of this environmental exposure needs to be clarified,” Dr Mathews said.
“This study strongly suggests that being exposed to radio-frequency electromagnetic radiation from carrying mobiles in trouser pockets negatively affects sperm quality.
“This could be particularly important for men already on the borderline of infertility, and further research is required to determine the full clinical implications for the general population.”
The study, “Effect of mobile telephones on sperm quality: a systematic review and meta-analysis”, is published in the journal Environment International.
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