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Men who are of reproductive age, especially those who have been diagnosed with suboptimal sperm quality via semen analysis, should limit their cell phone use due to negative effects of EMR (electromagnetic radiation) on sperm production and development. Researchers at Queen’s University (Canada) discovered that men who reported cell phone use had higher levels of circulating testosterone but they also had lower levels of luteinizing hormone (LH), an important reproductive hormone that is secreted by the pituitary gland in the brain.

The researchers hypothesize that electromagnetic waves (EMW) emitted by cell phones may have a dual action on male hormone levels and fertility. EMW may increase the number of cells in the testes that produce testosterone; however, by lowering the levels of LH excreted by the pituitary gland, EMW may also block the conversion of this basic circulating type of testosterone to the more active, potent form of testosterone associated with sperm production and fertility.

Studies have also indicated the negative impact of laptop computers on fertility. Heat emitted from a laptop computer negatively effects males fertility by raising the temperature of the scrotum, resulting in damage to the sperm. Laptop heat alone is not the only culprit of male infertility. A recent study published at Nascentis Medicina Reproductiva found that sperm exposed to a Wi-Fi signal were less capable of moving towards an egg to fertilize it.

Although further research is needed to determine the mechansim by which EMR affects male fertility, it warrants having greater awareness about the various sources of EMR and how to minimize exposure. Consider the following simple precautions: turn cell phones off when not actively in use and remove the cell phone from your waist or body when possible (i.e. when driving or seated anywhere), avoid any source of EMR in the bedroom (phones, clock radios, TV’s, computers) and don’t turn on the seat warmer function found in many vehicles (especially due to the proximity to the scrotum). If placing your laptop on your lap, use a pad or heat shield between you and the laptop, which may help protect the body from the heat source and EMR.

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