Sperm motility—the ability of the sperm to move and fertilise an egg—is almost halved by the waves, and men who keep a cell phone by their body for two hours or more every day could be the most affected.
Japanese researchers tested sperm taken from 51 men attending an IVF clinic, and samples were placed next to a wi-fi router—which simulates having a cell phone in a pocket—for periods of 30 minutes, one hour, two hours and 24 hours.
Differences in sperm motility started to appear after the two-hour mark, and these samples had just 29 per cent motility compared to 53 per cent seen in samples that had not been exposed to the radiation.
Interestingly, the sample that had been protected by a wi-fi shield had a 44 per cent motility, which suggests a shield can protect against most of the damage caused by the waves.
After 24 hours, 23 per cent of the sperm exposed to the waves had died compared to 8 per cent of the unexposed sample and 18 per cent of the shielded sample, the researchers from the Yamashita Shonan Yume Clinic discovered.