A strange article appeared in one of Greece’s major daily newspapers a while ago. It reported that, due to the country’s on-going financial crisis, many newly-wed couples could no longer afford the cost of infertility treatment.
Is infertility treatment now part of the cost of getting married? When I was young (not that long ago) we worried about getting pregnant, not about not getting pregnant. When I voiced my surprise about the news report to Greek friends, however, they simply shrugged. All the fertility clinics in Athens were full of desperate young couples unable to conceive normally, they said. It was frequently on the television. Waiting lists of up to a year for an appointment were common.
Intrigued, I started looking further afield and quickly found that with regard to having babies we are in deep trouble. Indeed, the WHO predicts that infertility among both sexes will be the third most serious condition this century after cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
The problem is especially acute in the more technologically advanced nations of the world. In the US, Canada, the countries of Europe, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand human sperm counts have dropped to below 50 percent of what was considered normal only a few years ago. By 2004, according to a study published in the prestigious science journal Nature, between three and five percent of the population in most developed countries was produced by assisted conception.
Fertility concerns are also growing in the developing world. Data from India shows a rise in infertility of between 20 and 30 percent in the last five years alone.
Even the island of Antigua has not escaped. Doctors recently told local news media that a “good percentage of the population is unable to conceive children.” One of them, Dr.Raymond Mansoor, a gynecologist and obstetrician, told Observer AM: “I have noticed that even the younger patients are having sperm counts lower than what I would have expected.”
So what is going wrong? A new study from Japan may hold the answer. It shows that Wi-Fi exposure lowers male fertility by killing sperm. The study is reportedly the first to focus on the effects of electromagnetic radiation from Wi-Fi enabled devices such as smartphones and home routers on sperm motility (its ability to swim towards the female egg) and sperm death.
Male subjects were exposed to Wi-Fi from a smartphone in their pocket for 30 minutes, 60 minutes, two hours or 24 hours. The results showed that the longer the exposure, the lower the sperm motility and the higher the death rate. After 24 hours the death rate of sperm was 23.3 per cent.
Researcher Kumiko Nakata from the Reproductive Medicine Research Centre at Yamashita Shonan Yume Clinic, who carried out the study, says: “There is mounting evidence that the effects of electromagnetic waves on sperm may be having a significant effect on human reproduction.”
This does not surprise scientists researching the health effects of wireless radiation. As long ago as 1997, two Greek researchers – Magras and Xenos – showed that mice exposed to electromagnetic radiation from a cell tower at well within our current safety limits become irreversibly sterile within six months.
Dr. Martin Pall, a much cited expert on the biological effects of electromagnetic fields, says that research increasingly shows that wireless radiation causes “a wide variety of changes leading to lowered male fertility, lowered female fertility, increased spontaneous abortion, lowered levels of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone and lowered libido.”
Dr. Pall, Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry and Basic Medical Sciences at Washington State University who holds a degree in physics from John Hopkins University and a Ph.D in genetics from Caltech, notes that reproduction averages in the developed countries of the world are now at 75 percent of replacement levels.
He says: “When we have a technology that is universally present in these technologically advanced countries that we know impacts reproduction, and reproduction has already dropped well below replacement levels, and we may be facing a catastrophic and irreversible decline in reproduction and there are more and more plans to expose us still further, don’t you think that we should take note of the science?”
And he warns: “I expect to see a crash in human reproduction to almost zero – as happened with the Magras and Xenos mouse study – which I estimate will occur within about five years without any increase in our exposure. Obviously 4G and 5G will make the situation much worse.”
The Japanese Wi-Fi study is so new that it has not yet been published. It was presented for the first time at the Asia Pacific Initiative on Reproduction (ASPIRE 2019) Congress in Hong Kong earlier this month. However, a fuller report on the study can be viewed at: