Why are we talking about cell phone radiation
and erectile dysfunction?
Because all men should be doing their best to
look after their sexual health.
It’s good for you when you’re in the bedroom and it keeps you fit and healthy when you’re not.
But one thing might be undoing all the healthy eating and gym sessions you’ve been putting in – your phone.
Here’s the deal with cell phone radiation and erectile dysfunction, and whether or not you should be worried about that powerful computer you’ve got in your pocket.
Smartphones have only been around for about seven years and pocket-sized cell phones for only about a decade before that.
So honestly, we can’t say with absolute certainty how big of a problem this is. That said, there has been one study that looked into the relationship between cell phones and ED that is cause for worry.
The Central European Journal of Urology published a pilot study in 2013 where researchers compared 20 men complaining of ED for at least six months to 10 men not suffering with erectile dysfunction.
They did a variety of tests and had the guys complete sexual health and cell phone usage questionnaires.
With no big difference in age, weight, testosterone levels, or any other health factors, the group complaining of ED reported that they carried their phones in their front pocket for about 4.4 hours per day, compared to the non-ED groups 1.8 hours per day.
Thus, the researchers concluded that cell phone use correlates with erectile dysfunction, and that larger studies are needed.
Naturally, the cell phone industry will have something to say about these studies and will resist any efforts to continue this research on a large scale, much like big pharma hides the studies promoting natural cures for erectile dysfunction.
So I’m not holding my breath for a rash of larger studies to come along anytime soon to confirm these results…so lets dig a bit deeper into this one study we do have.
First off, while looking at this data it’s worth considering correlation vs causation.
The researchers are pointing out a correlation only, and not a direct cause. At least not yet. So it might be something else entirely causing this relationship between front pocket phone carriers and ED.
It may be that people who carry their phones all day have stressful jobs and that’s impacting the results. It could be that people who switch their phones off do so because they’re more mindful of the present and less distracted by other events.
It could be any number of factors that cause heavy cell phone users to suffer ED at a higher rate.
This only thing this study does prove with certainty….
Is that if you ask 100 guys who carry their phones switched on in their front pocket for 4 plus hours every day and 100 guys who don’t, the first 100 men are more likely to have erectile dysfunction.
But there’s more……
Of course, the whole point of an erection is to actually impregnate a woman (biologically speaking). So it’s worth talking about fertility when we’re talking about cell phones and ED.
The science here has presented a little bit of a bewildering result…
A study in Austria looked at a substantial sample of cell phone users and non-cell phone users from 1993-2007 and found that the spermatozoa in the cell phones users was significantly worse off than the sperm of those who didn’t use cellphones.
In the cell phone users, 68% of their spermatozoa had some sort of morphological problem (e.g. two tails). For non cell phone users, that number was significantly lower.
What makes this studying a bit worrying is that this wasn’t 30 guys in a room. The researchers looked at 991 cell phone users and 1,119 non-cell phone users, so these results are fairly robust.
But where the study gets really interesting, is what they found when they looked at the hormone levels of the participants.
Some hormones like testosterone were actually slightly higher in the cell phone users. Other hormones like follicle stimulating and prolactin were unchanged across groups.
But one hormone really stuck out, as the cell phone users had significantly lower luteinizing levels, compared to the controls.
Now, these results don’t suggest that you should sleep with a plugged in phone on your balls in order to boost your T levels.
What this DOES mean is that heavy cell phone usage impacts on how your body builds and synthesizes hormones. And in this case, it means that your virility will likely decline, since luteinizing hormone is such a key player in sperm health and production.
The conclusion the researchers drew is that the electromagnetic wave (EMW) radiation causes your testes to spike testosterone production, but lowers the pituitary glands ability to produce LH, accounting for the increase in T and lowered LH.
The broader conclusion though is that your body is being impacted by your phone in unknown ways. And we’re just hoping that the long term consequences are limited.
Let’s be honest though. Even with this hormone result in mind, you’re probably not going to stop using your phone entirely.
In fact, you might be reading this very blog post on a cellphone.
Fortunately, there are plenty of steps you can take to protect your reproductive and erectile health without quitting the smartphone cold turkey.
First, the obvious one…
Keep your phone away from your groin and shift it to your back pocket, carry it in your hand, your breast pocket or it in a backpack or brief case.
The more distance, the better.
Second, turn your phone off for longer stretches of the day.
If you’re not using it, turn it off, turn it off at night. Turn it off on airplanes and in meetings, instead of putting it in airplane mode. Any time you don’t need to use your phone and would normally switch it to silent, just turn it off instead.
You can also reduce you exposure to radiation by using a headset rather than holding the brick to your brain, by talking less on your phone in general and by texting or using messenger apps instead.
Limiting conversations on cell phones to less than two minutes is one of the best ways to reduce your exposure to EMW radiation, since exposure to EMW is directly linked to how long you use your phone.
Here are a few more safety tips:
We still have a lot to learn about the long term health effects of our current smartphone-crazed culture. In 50 years, we might look back at smartphones the same way we look at lead-based paint now – as an obviously terrible idea.
But while we wait for all the details to come out, I suggest you implement the safety tips mentioned above.
After all, you only have two testicles – and they weren’t designed to cope with 21st century technology.