Objective: To evaluate effects of cellular phone radiofrequency electromagnetic waves (RF-EMW) during talk mode on unprocessed (neat) ejaculated human semen.
Design: Prospective pilot study.
Setting: Center for reproductive medicine laboratory in tertiary hospital setting.
Samples: Neat semen samples from normal healthy donors (n = 23) and infertile patients (n = 9).
Intervention(s): After liquefaction, neat semen samples were divided into two aliquots. One aliquot (experimental) from each patient was exposed to cellular phone radiation (in talk mode) for 1 h, and the second aliquot (unexposed) served as the control sample under identical conditions.
Main outcome measure(s): Evaluation of sperm parameters (motility, viability), reactive oxygen species (ROS), total antioxidant capacity (TAC) of semen, ROS-TAC score, and sperm DNA damage.
Result(s): Samples exposed to RF-EMW showed a significant decrease in sperm motility and viability, increase in ROS level, and decrease in ROS-TAC score. Levels of TAC and DNA damage showed no significant differences from the unexposed group.
Conclusion(s): Radiofrequency electromagnetic waves emitted from cell phones may lead to oxidative stress in human semen. We speculate that keeping the cell phone in a trouser pocket in talk mode may negatively affect spermatozoa and impair male fertility.