London: Do you have a habit of keeping your cellphone in your trouser's pocket? It could damage your chances of becoming a father.
According to a research, radio-frequency electromagnetic radiation (RF-EMR) emitted by mobile phones can have a detrimental effect on male fertility.
Given the enormous scale of mobile phone use around the world, the potential role of this environmental exposure needs to be clarified.
"This study strongly suggests that being exposed to radio-frequency electromagnetic radiation from carrying mobiles in trouser pockets negatively affects sperm quality," cautioned Fiona Mathews, a professor of biosciences at University of Exeter in Britain.
"This could be particularly important for men already on the borderline of infertility, and further research is required to determine the full clinical implications for the general population," he said.
Most of the global adult population own mobile phones and around 14 percent of couples in high and middle income countries have difficulty in conceiving.
To reach this conclusion, a team led by Mathews conducted a systematic review of the findings from 10 studies, including 1,492 samples.
The sperm quality was measured in three different ways: motility, viability and concentration.
In control groups, 50-85 percent of sperm have normal movement.
The researchers found this proportion fell by an average of eight percentage points when there was exposure to mobile phones.
Similar effects were seen for sperm viability.
The effects on sperm concentration were less clear.
The results were consistent across in vitro studies conducted under controlled conditions, said the study published in the journal Environment International.