The effects of electromagnetic radiation from electronics on fertility
– Excerpts and Resources from An Electronic Silent Spring
Fertility is the ability to reproduce. The quality of fertility matters to the health of every family–and to every community’s survival. Every family and community that welcomes a baby wants him or her healthy- and for parents to keep healthy at least until their children reach adulthood. To begin, then, women need healthy menstrual cycles. Men need erectile function and healthy sperm. Women need healthy pregnancies.
In 1997, I began teaching natural family planning (NFP), a method of birth control also used as an aid for those who want to conceive. Based on charting a woman’s waking temperature and cervical fluid, the method provides women an accurate way of knowing when they are fertile and infertile. By 2004, when my book, The Garden of Fertility, was published, one third of my NFP students were not ovulating. This correlated with national statistics about the percentage of women of childbearing age who had Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, a condition in which the woman ovulates infrequently or not at all. In The Garden, I also reported the detrimental effects of pharmaceutical family planning, of sleeping exposed to light (i.e. from a TV or a street lamp) – as well as the benefits of sleeping in darkness and a nutrient-dense diet.
In 2007, the biologist Sandra Steingraber wrote “The Falling Age of Puberty in U.S. Girls.” She reported that girls have begun to menstruate at younger and younger ages (and the early onset of menses increases a woman’s risk of breast cancer). Among other factors, Steingraber reported that early puberty is caused by girls’ watching television.
In the few years since these books were published, use of electronics, wireless devices and wireless services has increased exponentially. So have my questions: What happens to a girl’s reproductive health if she gets exposed to first-hand or second-hand cell phone radiation before she menstruates? How are menstrual cycles and offsprings’ health affected if a teenaged girl sleeps exposed to Wi-Fi? if she sleeps with a mobile device under her pillow or keeps a phone in her bra? What are the effects of using a cell phone or sleeping near a Wi-Fi router while taking the Pill (or other pharmaceutical birth control)? What are the long-term health effects when people are exposed to cell phones, Wi-Fi, broadband over power lines, “smart” meters and other radiation-emitting devices from conception onward? How is long-term reproductive health affected when children attend school with fluorescent lights, wireless pads and Wi-Fi routers?
I do not know of studies that answer these questions. In India, the Council of Medical Research has begun studying how use of a cell phone or proximity to a cell tower impacts a woman’s menstrual cycle and a man’s sperm count, as well as their sleep patterns and general behavior.
Meanwhile, here’s what studies that we do have report:
Numerous studies show that sperm quality and motility are adversely affected when men wear a cell phone, PDA or pager on their belt or in a pocket. (1,2,3,4,5,6) Yet other studies conclude that using a cell phone or storing one near the testes affects sperm counts, motility, viability and structure. (7,8,9)
The 2012 Proceeding of the World Meeting on Sexual Medicine reports that men with erectile dysfunction are 2.6 times more likely to keep their cell phones in their front pants pocket. (Researchers did not consider different types of phones, nor the amount of time that the man had kept his phone in his pocket.)
After five generations of exposure to RF radiation from cell towers (less than one microwatt per centimeter squared), mice become irreversibly infertile.10
An increase in deep vein thrombosis as the leading cause of death in pregnancy now has researchers wondering about its connection with the growing use of mobile phones during pregnancy. (11)
A new study associates mothers using mobile phones and computers during pregnancy with pre-term births. (12)
1. Agarwal, A. et. al, 2008, “Effect of cell phone usage on semen analysis in men attending infertility clinic: an observational study,” Fertil. Steril. 92(1):124-128.
2. Agarwal, A. et al, 2009, “Effects of radiofrequency electromagnetic waves (RF-EMW) from cellular phones on human ejaculated semen: an in vitro pilot study,” Fertil Steril. 92(4):318-325.
3. Wdowiak, A. et al, 2007, “Evaluation of the effect of using mobile phones on male fertility,” Ann Agric Environ Med 14:69-172.
4. De Iuliis, G.N., et al, 2009, “Mobile phone radiation induces reactive oxygen species production and DNA damage in human spermatozoa in vitro,” PLoS One 4(7):e6446.
5. Fejes, I. et al, 2005, “Is there a relationship between cell phone use and sperm quality?” Arch Androl 51:385-393.
6. Kumar, 2012.
7. Aitken, RJ, et al, 2004, “Seeds of concern,” Nature, 432:48-52.
8. Agarwal et al, 2007.
9. Erogul, O. et al, 2006, “Effects of electromagnetic radiation from a cellular phone on human sperm motility: an in vitro study,” Arch Med Res, 37:840-843.
10. Magras, IN and TD Xenos, 1997, “RF radiation-induced changes in the prenatal development of mice,” Bioelectromagnetics 18:455-461.
11 . Davis, D.I., et al, “Swedish review strengthens grounds for concluding that radiation from cellular and cordless phones is a probable human carcinogen,” Pathophysiology (2013). //dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pathophys.2013.03.001
12. Col-Araz, N., “Evaluation of Factors Affecting Birth Weight and Preterm Birth in Southern Turkey,” J Pak Med Assoc., 2013.