Men who are planning to have children one day may want to reduce how long they spend chatting on their mobile phones. Researchers from Queen’s University, Canada, found that mobile use may lower sperm quality and lead to a decrease in fertility. The team found that electromagnetic waves (EMW) transmitted by handsets has a complex relationship with male hormones. Lead researcher, Dr Rany Shamoul, said: ‘Our findings were a little bit puzzling.
‘We were expecting to find different results, but the results we did find suggest that there could be some intriguing mechanisms at work.’ The research team discovered that men who reported cell phone use had higher levels of circulating testosterone but they also had lower levels of luteinizing hormone (LH).
LH is an important reproductive hormone that is secreted by the pituitary gland in the brain. The researchers think that electromagnetic waves 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 it could also lower the levels of LH excreted by the pituitary gland.
This may block the conversion of this basic type of testosterone to the more active, potent form of testosterone associated with sperm production and fertility. Dr Shamloul concluded more in-depth research is needed to determine the exact ways in which EMW affects male fertility. The research comes just two months after mobile phone users in the UK were advised by the Government to text or use hands free kits rather than make calls.
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