London, Feb 7 : A new US research has suggested that spending hours on a mobile phone each day may damage men's fertility.
During the study, researchers at the Cleveland Clinic found a link between the patients' mobile phone use and their sperm quality.
They found that on average, the more hours the men spent on their mobile phones each day, the lower their sperm count and the greater their percentage of abnormal sperm.
According to the study, the fear is that, over time, the electromagnetic energy emitted from mobile phones could theoretically harm body tissue such as - by damaging DNA.
However, the researchers have cast doubt on the suggested link between mobile phone use and infertility in the men, saying that the new findings do not prove that mobile phones somehow damage sperm.
"Our results show a strong association of cell phone use with decreased semen quality. However, they do not prove a cause-and-effect relationship," the Telegraph quoted Dr Ashok Agarwal, lead author of the study, as saying.
The findings are based on semen samples from 361 men who came to the researchers' infertility clinic over one year.
For the study, the researchers questioned all men about their mobile phone habits.
They found that as daily mobile phone hours increased, sperm count and sperm quality tended to decline.
Men who reported that they used their phones for more than four hours each day had the lowest average sperm count and the fewest normal, viable sperm.
"We infer from our results that heavy cell phone use ... is associated with a lower semen quality," Agarwal said.
However, it is not clear whether mobile phones somehow directly affect men's fertility.
Agarwal has two studies underway aiming to shed light on the issue.