Here's how late night use of electronic media devices can cause male infertility

Updated on Jan 24, 2022 01:51 PM IST

Doctors spill the beans on how late night use of electronic media devices can cause male infertility, share solutions

Here's how late night use of electronic media devices can cause male infertility (Photo by Jonas Leupe on Unsplash )
Here's how late night use of electronic media devices can cause male infertility (Photo by Jonas Leupe on Unsplash )
ByZarafshan Shiraz, Delhi

Your partner bringing his smartphone or tablet to the bed at night may not only be a mood killer but also comes with disadvantages to his fitness levels as doctors reveal that it deteriorates his health by causing a huge harm to his sperms. The effect of cell phone radiation on health has been a matter of interest and investigation for quite some time and a study shared at the Virtual Sleep 2020 meeting linked poor sperm quality with evening and late night exposure to light emitting digital devices. 

It highlighted a significant association between the effect of cell phone radiation on healthy male sperm parameters and fertility and revealed that smartphone and tablet use in the evening and after bedtime reduced sperm motility, sperm progressive motility and sperm concentration. Researchers claimed that the greater the exposure to the short-wavelength light (SWL) emitted from these devices, the higher the percentage of immotile sperm and that longer sleep duration is positively correlated with total sperm count and progressive motility.

Echoing the same, Dr Shweta Goswami, Senior Consultant IVF from Jaypee Hospital and Zeeva fertility Clinic in Noida explained, “Exposure to light emitted from digital devices like phones, laptops, tablets and even digital television systems can not only lead to sleep disturbances but also create hindrances in sperm to swim properly and reach its destination hence, male infertility rates tend to shoot up.”

She added, “Different colours of light also affects the overall fertility. For example, SWL’s usage in the evening or night, which is on the blue end of the spectrum, reduces the secretion of melatonin - a hormone produced by the pineal gland in the brain that makes people feel sleepy and helps them stay asleep. As a result, exposure to the wrong forms of light in the evening can have a negative impact on sleep quality and quantity, for both men and women, creating hindrances in fertility.”

Elaborating on the unhealthy unlimited use of smartphones, computers and wireless connections, Dr Shobha Gupta, Medical Director and IVF Specialist from Mother’s Lap IVF Centre shared “The radiations cause harm to the DNA of a person due to which cells start losing its ability to recover on its own. When these radiations reach the sperm and egg cells, it does not only hold back its growth but also becomes a reason for abortion too.”

She advised, “There’s no harm in using digital devices earlier in the evening, a few hours before bedtime. Until more research is done to tease out what’s happening to the sperm of men who use digital devices at night, try limiting their exposure and it’s best if you quit this habit and instead invest time in your respective partner.”

According to the World Health Organisation, the prevalence of infertility in the general population is 15% to 20% and male infertility factor contributes 20% to 40% to this rate while the prevalence of male infertility in India is around 23%. Though lifestyle and environmental factors like smoking and alcohol consumption may be the main causes behind male infertility, the use of electronic and digital media devices too have a huge impact, if recent studies are anything to go by, since light emitted from digital devices, as well as their radiations can affect male fertility negatively.

Hence, healthcare professionals advice that men who use or depend on these devices should use other means to counter the effects of these exposures with expert consultation in order to prevent infertility in future. Those who work in night shifts, sometimes face the significant disruption of hormones in that setting which is why find an alternative pattern to catch up on sleep since it is highly important for overall health and should be recognized more and more as it can impact things like reproductive hormones.

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