While it is well known that infertility is on the rise with 1 in 6 couples experiencing fertility challenges, the big question doctors are asking is “why?” Is it the foods we eat, lack of sex (or too much of it LOL!), hot tubs, or vitamin deficiency? Well, all of these things can play a role, but there may be a new contender that is wreaking havoc on sperm count.
In the last 38 years, the University of Chicago Medicine found that sperm count has been on a steady decline, dropping 59 percent!! And it’s no surprise that lower sperm counts lead to lower chances of pregnancy.
While there are ways that doctors recommend improving men’s sperm count, most agree that the key factor for keeping your sperm healthy is keeping yourself in tip top physical shape. Bottom line is… to get your numbers up and your swimmers moving, you should exercise, eat healthy, take vitamins and supplements, get enough sleep, and don’t smoke, do drugs, or drink alcohol.
But even if you’re taking care of your physical health, you might not realize there’s another danger lurking closeby … your cell phone! In recent years, the role of phone usage and placement has come under scrutiny when it comes to sperm count.
THEORIES & STUDIES
Multiple studies have been conducted on phones and sperm. Two of these studies, conducted in Europe, looked at young men, while another one observed a large Swiss population. Each concluded that increased cell phone usage was associated with decreased sperm count.
On a positive note, a couple of these studies showcased that as mobile phone technology has improved, the impacts on sperm count have simultaneously improved. Researchers note that this is noticeable when comparing phone usage between 2005 and 2007, aligning with “transitions from 2g to 3g to 4g”. All in all, showing that as phone quality has improved overtime, the negative impacts of cell phones on sperm count has decreased.
While some scientists, researchers, and organizations warn about the impacts of keeping cell phones in your front pocket or on your lap, others think these studies are biased and lack any controls: making them unreliable.
So, given the wide range of perspectives, who do we trust? Probably no one, but it’s still a good idea to be aware of the possible implications cell phones can have on sperm count and quality. And of course, there are the agreed-upon areas for how to increase sperm production (like staying out of the hot tub and not ejaculating at least 48 hours before giving a sperm sample).
Plus, it’s important to eat healthily (there is lots of research on fertility nutrition), take supplements, vitamins, and herbal remedies (again researching what is best for fertility), minimize stress levels, get sufficient sleep, don’t smoke, drink alcohol, or use drugs, and exercise/maintain healthy body weight. These will all help increase sperm concentration.
In regards to cell phone usage, if you can keep your cell phone in a bag or somewhere except in your pocket, that will probably be best for your sperm count. It is the same with using a mat for your laptop or putting it on a desk rather than directly on your lap.
Although there is no clear-cut verdict on the main cause of the sperm decline, these little changes might make a big difference. Happy swimming!