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More research needed into possible link between infertility and mobile phones

An Irish support group has asked couples not to panic about a recent study.

Image: Mobile in jean pocket via Shutterstock

THERE HAVE BEEN calls in Ireland for further research into a possible link between male infertility and exposure to mobile phones.

The demand comes from the National Infertility Support and Information Group (NISIG) following the publication of a study suggesting that sperm numbers and motility levels (the ability of sperm to move properly towards an egg) were affected by men keeping mobiles phones in their pockets.

“There is no doubt that this study is interesting, but I’m not going to say that everyone who carries a phone in their pocket should remove it or else you might have fertility problems,” said NISIG founder and chairperson Helen Browne.

“I think the way sperm would be damaged by mobile phones is unclear and I would definitely agree with other scientists who have commented that more research into this area is vital.”

The study, undertaken by scientists at the University of Exeter and published in Environment International last month, showed that sperm movements fell by an average of 8% when there was exposure to constant mobile phone radiation.

The research was carried out on 1,492 men with results implicating increased exposure to radio frequency electromagnetic radiation as a possible cause of infertility.

“Given the enormous scale of mobile phone use around the world, the potential role of this environmental exposure needs to be clarified,” the lead author Dr Fiona Mathews said at the time of publication.

The NISIG has asked people not to panic about the potential issue.

It should be just an additional thing to consider until higher quality evidence and research is complete, added Browne.

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