In vitro effects of radiofrequency electromagnetic waves on bovine spermatozoa motility

J Environ Sci Health A Tox Hazard Subst Environ Eng. 2011;46(12):1417-23. doi: 10.1080/10934529.2011.607037.


In this study the effects of 1800 MHz GSM-like radiofrequency electromagnetic waves (RF-EMW) exposure on bovine semen was monitored. The experimental samples were analyzed in vitro in four time periods (0, 30, 120 and 420 min) and compared with unexposed samples (control). Spermatozoa motility was determined by computer assisted semen analyzer (CASA). Evaluation of the percentage of motile spermatozoa showed significant (P < 0.001) decrease in experimental groups after 120 and 420 min of culture when exposed to microwaves, in comparison to control. Similar spermatozoa motility inhibition was detected for the percentage of progressively motile spermatozoa, too. Average path distance decreased significantly (p < 0.001) in experimental groups after 30 and 420 min of culture. Path velocity increased in the experimental groups exposed to RF-EMW after 30 minutes of culture, but subsequently decreased after 420 min of culture, in comparison to control. This indicates a possible initial stimulation and subsequent velocity inhibition of bovine spermatozoa under RF-EMW exposure. Changes in spermatozoa motility were also detected for some fine parameters, too. A significant decrease (P < 0.001) was noted for amplitude of lateral head displacement in the experimental group after 420 minutes of culture. Detailed in vitro motility analysis of bovine spermatozoa exposed to microwave radiation suggested that the parameters of path and velocity at the beginning of the culture significantly increase, but after longer culture (420 minutes) a significant decrease occur in the experimental group as compared to control. In general, results of this experiment indicate a negative time-dependent effect of 1800 MHz RF-EMW radiation on bovine spermatozoa motility.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cattle
  • Electromagnetic Radiation*
  • Male
  • Sperm Motility / radiation effects*
  • Spermatozoa / radiation effects*