Do EMFs Affect Sperm Quality?

Sperm Quality - the Canary in the Coal Mine?

According to Zilberlicht Ariel, MD, male fertility has been declining since the early 20th century. Known culprits included exposure to pesticides, estrogen-mimicking chemicals, and sedentary lifestyles. However, Dr. Ariel wondered if exposure to radio frequency electromagnetic radiation was another factor. The study suggested that “certain aspects of cell phone usage may bear adverse effects on sperm concentration.”

Other Experiments and Findings

Observations of Mice

The study by Sarkar et al in 1994 exposed low power microwave to rats with a control group, that was not exposed. They looked at the DNA synthesis in testis and brain of both groups of rats, and found that there was a “distinct alteration” in the exposed rats.

In 1996, a study on the effects of RF radiation on the prenatal development in mice was done by the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki by researchers Magras, Xenos, Grivas, Marangos, and Oikonomou. In this study, they took young pairs of mice, one male and female and put them in a little cage on the ground outside in an antenna park in two different locations.  One with a higher level of exposure and one with a lower level of exposure. They found that “a significant number of couples of mice showed a progressive lack of fertility,” and that “a number of new-borns presented growth effects.”

Then, in tests done by Kesari and Behari in 2012, middle age rats (70 days old) were exposed to 2 hours a day for 45 days. The mice suffered testosterone reduction and produced offspring with lower fertility.  They also found an increase in an enzyme tied with DNA damage (caspase-3). Overall, they observed lower fertility rates as well as offspring showing a diminished male reproductive capacity.

Observations on Men

In 2009, a definitive study undertaken by Newcastle University showed results that mobile phone radiation had dramatic effects on the mitochondria, mobility, motility and viability of sperm. 

These figures are taken directly from the study:

Newcastle University study on EMFs and Male Fertility

Figure1: Experimental studies find mobile-phone exposed human sperm more damaged than controls. On this diagram:  A = Vitality, B = Mobility, C = Free radical production, D =  Mitochondrial effect

A study by the Cleveland Clinic in 2008 also found that, “the decrease in sperm count, motility, viability, and normal morphology is related to the duration of exposure to cell phones.” Here is a table from the paper:

Increased cellphone time decreases male fertility


Tim Ferriss 'Social Proof' in “The 4 Hour Body” 

In a ‘social proof’ experiment, media personality Tim Ferriss writes in his book, “The 4 Hour Body” that he kept his phone in his pocket for three months and then took it out for another three months. He measured his sperm count at regular intervals. He was very clear about his results: "I doubled my sperm count in 3 months. That is non-trivial”.

Bear in mind that most men have had their cellphone in their pocket for well over three months. Many men have had a mobile phone in their pocket for more than 10 years.

How Do EMFs Affect Sperm Concentration?

Most of the studies done so far have stated that there is significant evidence that EMFs affect sperm concentration in humans and animals. Knowing that EMFs affect concentration of sperm is one thing, but knowing how it happens is another type of study all together.

Dr. Martin Pall may have the answer. He found that the potential for cellular agitation and damage exists in the Voltage Gated Calcium Channel (VGCC) of the cellular membrane. Cells release calcium when they are exposed to certain voltages. Pall found that microwave radiation does excite the cell membrane.

When the membrane is hyper-activated by EMFs, it causes an overload of calcium in the cell which causes oxidization, leading to free radicals, leading to the potential for multiple diseases. We have done a video about this important finding here.

The reproductive system is densely populated with VGCC’s, particularly the male testes. A consequence here is impaired or reduced fertility. There is evidence showing EMFs can cause both male and female infertility, but male infertility has been more studied.

Dr. Pall also surmises that Germ line cells are heavily impacted by these EMF’s and warns that "we may also be destroying our biological inheritance”. 

What Does this Mean?

For more than 20 years, studies have shown that male fertility is affected by microwave radiation - even at the levels of exposure that have been deemed safe. The biggest danger is that these extremely powerful devices that we carry every day are normally stored in men’s pockets near the critical reproductive organs.

This highlights the need to really understand what radiation is, what it can do to our cells and how we must bring it to balance in our modern, data-driven lives. 



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EMF EFFECTS ON FERTILITY REFERENCES AND STUDIES

Microwave Radiation Studies on Humans

Bio Medicine Study: Habits of cell phone usage and sperm quality – does it warrant attention?

What VGCCs do in the body

University of NewCastle Study: Mobile Phone Radiation Induces Reactive Oxygen Species Production and DNA Damage in Human Spermatozoa In Vitro

Dr Martin Pall's findings


EMF Studies on Mice

Sarkar et al, Mutat Res 1994: Effect of low power microwave on the mouse genome: A direct DNA analysis

Aristotle University of Thessaloniki Effects of RF radiation on the prenatal development (in Mice)

Kesari and Behari - Evidence for mobile phone radiation exposure effects on reproductive pattern of male rats: role of ROS


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