IVF is not only costly but it is emotionally and physically draining, so you want to give yourself the best possible chance of success. One of the things that we are exposed to on an almost constant basis is technology, and with this technology comes some risks and dangers especially when you are trying to conceive.
Take a moment to look around you now and you will find that there are many devices that are emitting EMF (Electric and Magnetic Fields). These invisible areas of energy, often referred to as Radiation, are associated with the use of electrical power and various forms of natural and man-made lighting. EMFs are typically grouped into one of two categories by their frequency:
- Non-ionizing: low-level radiation which is generally perceived as harmless to humans
- Ionizing: high-level radiation which has the potential for cellular and DNA damage
EMF is emitted from a range of appliances around our home as well as devices using Wi-Fi and I bet that you can find many examples of this around you right now.
So, what is the risk when you are trying to conceive? Well, these technologies are new and still evolving but there has been some studies done including:
- In 2019, a Japanese study found that exposure to Wi-Fi connections lowers male fertility rates and reduces couples’ chances of having children by killing sperm, adding to mounting evidence that electromagnetic waves are harmful.
- In 2017, a study by Dr. Agarwal “Effect of cell phone usage on semen analysis in men attending infertility clinic: an observational study” studied the relationship between exposure to cell phone radiation and infertility in 361 men. The report concludes: “The decrease in sperm parameters was dependent on the duration of daily exposure to cell phones and independent of the initial semen quality.”
- A Hungarian study in 2000 (corroborated in 2005 by an Italian researcher) showed cellular responses to various forms of radiation, including EMFs. Several reversible alterations occurred in the structure of cell organelles. Many permanent changes, including morphological signals associated with cell death, were also triggered.
Now we can’t just switch off all our technology and go about our lives but there are some things you can do to lessen your exposure and the impact on your fertility.
- Put your phone away (and I don’t mean in your pocket), instead create some distance between you and your phone (or any other devices) when possible. It’s the proximity to these devices that increases the risk so when we aren’t near them, that helps immensely.
- If you can’t move away then set your phone to Airplane mode when not in use, since doing so cuts off wireless transmissions and radiation.
- When you do need to use your phone, consider using speakerphone or radiation-free air tube headphones when you make calls.
- Turn off Bluetooth and Wi-Fi on your devices whenever possible, and instead think of using a wired connection or an Ethernet cable when you do need to connect to other devices or the Internet.
- When you are actively using your device, consider using a cell phone EMF shield to help guard yourself against EMF radiation. One of the best ways to avoid EMF exposure in your home is to keep your distance from appliances. You need to get up close to turn on the television, open the fridge or microwave, and load the washing machine. Just keep these close encounters short, and don’t sit next to appliances — or allow your kids to.
- Limit X-rays. Only receive X-rays that are medically necessary.
- Unplug occasionally from electronic devices and electricity. Take a day off from electronics, or even several days. Your body will thank you.
It can be a big shift to move away from the technology we rely on every day but your fertility and overall health will be so much better for it. Replace that scrolling time with some nature time instead!