As if the invisible spectre of cancer weren't enough, now you might need to worry a bit about what mobile phones are doing to your testicle. A new study in the Journal of Andrology says phones might be ruining your sperm.
The report combines a variety of prior studies, concluding some rather disconcerting stuff for those of us with testicles, or for those of you with testicled loved ones:
Altogether the results of these studies show that RF-EMR decreases sperm count and motility, and increases the oxidative stress. In human beings, two different experimental approaches have been followed, one has explored the effects of RF-EMR directly on spermatozoa and the other has evaluated the sperm parameters in men using or not mobile phones. The results show that human spermatozoa exposed to RF-EMR have decreased motility, morphometric abnormalities, and increased oxidative stress, whereas men using mobile phones have decreased sperm concentration, motility (particularly the rapid progressive one), normal morphology, and viability. These abnormalities seem to be directly related with the length of mobile phone use.
Translation: both exposure to a phone's electromagnetic transmissions and general phone use correlated to sperm that's slower, weaker, and fewer in numbers. Making you sterile. That's bad if you have a penis and would like to impregnate someone with it. Also, there is such a thing as "sperm parameters", proving being a scientist is fun.
If it's any consolation, the study isn't definitive — the researchers posit their findings as cause for concern, but not proof positive: "More studies are necessary to provide stronger evidences that mobile phone use disturb sperm and testicular function since the existing literature has several limitation." These studies should be done. Like, very soon. We don't want the world to find out bad news the hard way. [Journal of Andrology via CNET via BGR]