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Cellphone use may affect male fertility

OTTAWA, May 19 (UPI) -- Men who are already diagnosed with poor sperm quality and trying to conceive a child may want to limit cellphone use, Canadian researchers say.

Dr. Rany Shamloul, a specialist in andrology and sexual medicine at Ottawa Hospital in Ontario, and colleagues say cellphone use appears to increase the level of testosterone circulating in the body, and may lead to low sperm quality and a decrease in fertility.

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"Our findings were a little bit puzzling," lead researcher Shamloul, a postdoctoral fellow says in a statement. "We were expecting to find different results, but the results we did find suggest that there could be some intriguing mechanisms at work."

The research team discovered men who reported cellphone use had higher levels of circulating testosterone but also had lower levels of luteinizing hormone, an important reproductive hormone that is secreted by the pituitary gland in the brain.

The researchers hypothesize that electromagnetic waves emitted by cellphones may have a dual action on male hormone levels and fertility -- electromagnetic waves may increase the number of cells in the testes that produce testosterone; but also lower the levels of luteinizing hormone excreted by the pituitary gland.

Or, the researchers speculate, electromagnetic waves block the conversion of the basic circulating type of testosterone to the more active, potent form of testosterone associated with sperm production and fertility, Shamloul says.

More research is needed, the researchers say.

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