It is based on data from 2886 Swiss men aged 18 to 22, recruited between 2005 and 2018 at six military conscription centres. The results have now been published in Fertility & Sterility.
Men completed a detailed questionnaire related to their lifestyle habits, their general health status and more specifically the frequency at which they use their phones, as well as where they place it when not in use
The median sperm concentration was significantly higher in the group of men who did not use their phone more than five times a week (56.5 million/mL) compared with men who used their phone more than 20 times a day (44.5 million/mL). This difference corresponds to a 21% decrease in sperm concentration for frequent users (>20 times/day) compared to rare users (1-5 times/week).
This inverse association
This trend corresponds to the transition from 2G to 3G, and then from 3G to 4G, that has led to a reduction in the transmitting power of phones - and thus their electromagnetic radiation," explains Martin Röösli
with 2G, the cell phone always transmitted at maximum first.
By doing so, the frequency of use reported by the individual was assumed to be an accurate estimate of exposure to electromagnetic radiation. To address this limitation, a study funded by the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) was launched in 2023. Its aim is to directly and accurately measure exposure to electromagnetic waves, as well as the types of use - calls, web navigation, sending messages - and to assess their impact on male reproductive health and fertility potential. The data will be collected using an application that each future participant will download to their mobile phone. The research team is actively recruiting participants for this study.
This article is based on a press release by the University of Geneva and the Swiss TPH.
Many studies have shown that semen quality has decreased over the last fifty years. Sperm count is reported to have dropped from an average of 99 million sperm per millilitre to 47 million per millilitre. This phenomenon is thought to be the result of a combination of environmental factors (endocrine disruptors, pesticides, radiation) and lifestyle habits (diet, alcohol, stress, smoking).
According to the values established by the World Health Organization (WHO), a man will most probably take more than one year to conceive a child if his sperm concentration is below 15 million per milliliter. In addition, the percentage chance of pregnancy will decrease if the sperm concentration is below 40 million per milliliter.
the number of people in this cohort indicating that they did not carry their phone close to their body was too small