Sperm concentrations have been shown to have declined in industrialized countries over the past 50 years, Rita Rahban, a researcher at the University of Geneva and the Swiss Center for Applied Human Toxicology, told Newsweek. — The drop is dramatic: from about 100 million sperm per milliliter to about 50 million.
There is some debate about the reliability of this number due to differences in data collection between now and the 1970s, but there is plenty of evidence to suggest that modern life may be at least partly responsible for this trend.
— Low sperm quality can affect men’s fertility, Melissa Perry, dean of George Mason University’s School of Public Health, told Newsweek. The severity of this effect varies from person to person. Factors such as sperm concentration, movement and shape can affect fertility.
Something that has changed since the 1970s is the use of mobile phones. So Rahban and her team examined the relationship between semen quality and cell phone use in a sample of 2,886 young men in Switzerland between the ages of 18 and 22. The data was collected between 2005 and 2018 from six military recruitment centers across the country and was published in the journal Fertility and Sterility on October 31.
“We found that if men used their phones often, they were more likely to have lower sperm concentrations than men who used their phones infrequently,” Rahban said.
The main concern when using cell phones is the emission of low-frequency electromagnetic radiation, known as EMR.
“There are two hypotheses about how exposure to cell phone X-rays affects semen quality,” Rahban said. One hypothesis is that the effect is direct and results from a slight increase in testicular temperature when the phone is placed in the pocket. Our data suggest that this effect is less likely because we see no association between poor semen quality and having your phone in your pocket.
— The second hypothesis regarding the possible mechanism of action is indirect exposure via the brain to the pituitary gland, which regulates testicular function. It is worth noting that the majority of men in our study (85%) reported keeping their phone in their pants pocket, so this still requires further investigation.
Rahban and her team are conducting additional research to ascertain whether phone position has any significant effect on sperm concentrations.
However, the time in which the results were obtained appears to have had a significant impact. Unfavorable sperm counts were more strongly associated with cell phone use at the beginning of the study — from 2005 to 2007 — than at the end. The team believes that this trend reflects the transition from 2G mobile phones to 3G and then 4G.
– 2G is less efficient than 4G in terms of data transfer speeds, resulting in longer exposure times (what you download on 4G takes at least twice as long if you’re using 2G), and 2G is much less targeted, meaning someone This will do and the monks explain that they are exposed to electromagnetic radiation even if they are not using their phones.
“4G mobile networks have brought significant improvements in data transfer speeds, enabling faster Internet connectivity, media streaming and other data-intensive applications,” Rahban adds.
The exact impact of 5G remains unclear, but Monks said newer generations of mobile technology, such as 4G and 5G, aim to reduce radiation exposure while providing better data speeds and capabilities.
Even if you stay away from modern technology, there are other risks that can affect your sperm count. Our world is becoming increasingly polluted, which affects our fertility.
One study published in 2017 in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine found that air pollution can affect the size and shape of sperm, affecting their quality and motility.
But smog-filled air is not the only source of pollution. In a new study published November 15 in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, Melissa Perry and her colleagues analyzed 25 studies over the past 50 years and found a clear link between pesticide exposure and lower sperm concentrations in adult men.
“People can be exposed to pesticides through a variety of ways, including food consumption (remnants of fruits, vegetables, grains), contaminated water sources, occupational exposure (farmers, pesticide users) and through household pest control,” she told Newsweek Perry. . Who led the study.
— We’ve been able to summarize more than 25 years of research on male fertility and reproductive health. “Research shows that we need to take regulatory action to reduce exposure to pesticides,” Berry added.
While we can choose to go organic, Perry said the use of pesticides and other insecticides is so widespread that it’s impossible to completely avoid them.
Fortunately, low sperm count caused by environmental factors can often be corrected. Sperm is continuously produced in the testicle every 10 weeks. Therefore, men replenish their sperm reserves more often. This means that if they want to become parents, they can start paying attention and live a healthier lifestyle, conclude the monks.
Text published on Newsweek.com. Title, introduction and subtitles by the editors of Newsweek Polska.
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