‘Wireless Armour’ underwear technology aims to stop sperm damage caused by electromagnetic radiation
Earlier this year we featured a story on Marks and Spencer’s “fertility underwear”. Their new Cool & Fresh™ and StayNEW™ were designed to improve comfort and keep you cool.
Since high scrotal temperatures can adversely influence sperm quality1, 2 these new designs may help to support the development of healthier sperm. While this wasn’t the purpose of the design, it nevertheless drew the attention of men looking to enhance their fertility.
Now British inventor Joseph Perkins has unveiled a new line of men’s underwear designed to absorb electromagnetic radiation. The boxers contain a pure silver mesh which is woven into the fabric to shield 99.9% of radiation emitted from devices such as laptops, tablets, and smartphones.
Called “Wireless Armour”, this range of boxers aims to protect male fertility. Billionaire investor Sir Richard Branson has decided to invest into the company, describing the boxers as “underpants for superheros”.
But do they work and why should men wear them?
Electromagnetic radiation effects on male fertility
There has been a lot of interest in electromagnetic radiation and it’s affects on the body with the rise of mobile phone use. Combined with the growing reliance on devices such as tablets and laptops, our direct exposure to electromagnetic radiation has increased significantly over the past couple of decades. This has also coincided with a steady decline in male fertility.
A study by McGill and Agarwal investigated the impact of using cell phones, laptops, and microwave ovens on male fertility3. The researchers called for more in-depth studies into the safety of electromagnetic radiation and its possible role in unexplained male infertility.
In 2014 Adams and colleagues published a paper discussing their finding in a systematic review and meta-analysis of research investigating the effects of mobile phones on sperm quality4. After assessing all the studies, the researchers concluded that mobile phone exposure was associated with a decline in sperm motility and viability.
Excessive exposure to electromagnetic radiation can affect male fertility a couple of ways. Firstly, it disrupts the pituitary, hypothalamic and testicular activity, altering the function of these important systems involved in reproduction.
Secondly, this radiation has a direct physical effect on the cells. The cells closest to the radiating device are exposed to severe oxidative stress. Since most men carry their mobile phone in their pocket and rest their laptop and tablets on their lap, it’s the cells in the testicles that bear the brunt of this damage. This can lead to subfertility.
Will Wireless Armour protect your fertility?
Wireless Armour underwear is designed to shield the wearer from 99.9% of electromagnetic radiation released between 100MHz and 2.6GHz. As silver is an electricity conductor it effectively disrupts the radiation flow and spreads it evenly throughout the mesh.
Whether or not it helps to preserve and protect male fertility remains to be seen. There are many factors that influence reproductive health; the more positive influences the better the chance of staying fertile.
- Brito, L. et.al (2003). Effects of scrotal insulation on sperm production, semen quality, and testicular echotexture in Bos indicus and Bos indicus x Bos taurus bulls. Animal Reproduction. Volume 79, Issue 1-2, (pp. 1-15).” ↩
- “Perez-Crespo, M. et.al (2008). Scrotal heat stress effects on sperm viability, sperm DNA integrity, and the offspring sex ratio in mice. Molecular Reproduction & Development. Volume 75, Issue 1, (pp. 40-7).” ↩
- “McGill, J. and Agarwal, A. (2014). The impact of cell phone, laptop computer, and microwave oven usage on male fertility. Male Infertility – A Complete Guide to Lifestyles and Environmental Factor. Part 1. Springer New York, (pp161-77).” ↩
- “Adams, J. et al. (2014). Effect of mobile telephones on sperm quality: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Environment International, Volume 70, (pp. 106-12).” ↩