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A study found correlations between electronic media use at night and poor sperm quality

The influence of direct mobile phone radiation on sperm quality.

A study found correlations between electronic media use at night and poor sperm quality
Credit: Public Domain

The last several decades have been characterized by the widespread usage of digital devices, especially smartphones. 

Since two decades, there has been a significant increase in cell phone usage all through the world. Meanwhile, incessant electromagnetic radiation from cell phones, through the development of oxidative stress and DNA fragmentation, can prompt various pathologies, including tumors, and can disregard spermatogenesis. 

The effect of cell phone radiation on healthy male sperm parameters and fertility is the subject of recent interest and investigations.

A new study urges men to think twice before reaching for their smartphone at night. The study by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine suggests that there is a correlation between electronic media use at night and poor sperm quality.

Priminary outcomes show that more significant self-reported exposure to light-emitting media devices in the evening and after bedtime is related to decreased sperm quality. Sperm concentration, motility, and progressive motility — the ability of sperm to “swim” properly — were all lower, and the percentage of immotile sperm that are unable to swim was higher in men who reported more smartphone and tablet usage at night.

Principal investigator Amit Green, Ph.D., head of research and development at the Sleep and Fatigue Institute at the Assuta Medical Center in Tel-Aviv, Israel, said“Smartphone and tablet use in the evening and after bedtime was correlated with a decline in sperm quality. Furthermore, smartphone use in the evening, tablet use after bedtime, and television use in the evening were all correlated with sperm concentration decline. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to report these types of correlations between sperm quality and exposure time to short-wavelength light emitted from digital media, especially smartphones and tablets, in the evening and after bedtime.”

Semen samples were obtained from 116 men adults aged between 21 and 59 who were undergoing fertility evaluation. Participants completed questionnaires about their sleep habits and the use of electronic devices.

The study also found a correlation between longer sleep duration and higher sperm total and greater progressive motility. In contrast, more significant sleepiness was associated with poorer sperm quality.

Journal Reference:
  1. Y Dagan, Y Dagan, A Kahane, L Shine, S Barak, A Green. 0029 Light Emitted from Media Devices at Night is Associated with Decline in Sperm Quality. Sleep, 2020; 43 (Supplement_1): A12 DOI: 10.1093/sleep/zsaa056.028