I’ve been using microwaves all my life. I have one in my kitchen and another in my office, so it’s pretty much impossible for me to live without them.
But lately, I’ve been thinking about having children. And now that I’m thinking about having kids, there’s one thing that keeps coming up: will microwaves make me sterile or infertile?
So I did some research and talked to experts, and here’s what they told me.
Can microwaves make you sterile?
No, microwaves have little to no chance of making you sterile.
Microwaves are about as dangerous as hair dryers, and that’s pretty safe. Microwaves are regulated by the US government, and their standards for the amount allowed to be leaked have lessened over the years. Unless your microwave is ridiculously old or broken, it won’t hurt you.
Microwaves do not have enough energy to damage your reproductive organs. However, if you were to cut a hole in the door of a microwave and expose your testicles to heat, then there would be significant damage.
All jokes aside. It’s not a good idea, and if you were to do this, you would probably end up sterile.
Without the barriers and safety mechanisms in place, microwaves can cause burns and other injuries. For example, radiation generated during mammography could cause ovarian cancer.
Fortunately, there is no evidence that microwaves cause harm to the body or reproductive organs as long as you use them properly and within the normal usage case. You don’t need to avoid using them. Just make sure not to carelessly plant your face against the microwave while it’s on!
How do microwaves impact fertility?
Microwaves emit electromagnetic radiation that may decrease fertility levels. The research on this topic is still inconclusive.
However, some studies show that microwaves can harm sperm cells by increasing DNA fragmentation and others show no impact at all.
While some studies show that microwaves can negatively impact sperm health, there is no conclusive evidence as to whether or not they affect male fertility.
There have been cases where men have been exposed to microwaves during work and have had their sperm count go down, but it’s unclear if this is because of what they were doing or because of their exposure to the microwave.
We do know for sure that direct microwave exposure can affect women’s fertility radiation.
Women should be careful when using microwaves around their reproductive organs because the radiation could cause damage to an embryo or fetus if a woman was pregnant at the time she was exposed.
What are the results of research between microwaves and sterility?
Research has shown that microwaves can negatively impact fertility levels.
One study conducted in Turkey measured the hormone levels of women who used microwaves and those who didn’t use microwaves.
They found that the women who used microwaves had lower amounts of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH). The researchers concluded that this effect on fertility could be due to exposure to microwaves.
Microwave radiation can also harm sperm cells by increasing DNA fragmentation which affects a man’s fertility as well.
In fact, men who had high levels of exposure to WiFi and microwave radiation devices were more likely to have decreased sperm count and quality than those who weren’t exposed as much.
It is recommended that people stay vigilant and be careful when using microwaves when cooking food.
Tips for limiting exposure to microwaves
Microwaves can be a scary appliance to use, especially if you know how they work. When it comes to using a microwave, there are some tips you can use to help limit the number of microwaves that you are exposed to.
- Leave the room when the microwave is in use. This is the best way to limit your exposure. If you are using a microwave you can start it and simply leave the room while it is running. This is going to prevent you from having any exposure really.
- If you cannot leave the room you can stand further away from the machine. Microwaves are not going to be able to travel very long distances. If you are concerned about the exposure, try standing further from the microwave to prevent exposure.
- Covering the microwave may also be an option you might want to look into.
Avoid standing too close to microwaves while it’s on
The biggest thing that you can do to limit exposure is to avoid standing right next to the microwave while it is running.
If you can leave the room entirely, that is the best way to prevent any exposure at all. If you cannot leave the room, you should stand as far away from the microwave while it is working as you can.
The further away, the less likely you are to have any negative effects from the microwave.
How far should you be away from the microwave when it’s on?
It is generally accepted that you should be at least a foot away from the microwave while it is running if you are genuinely afraid of any possible negative effects.
The FDA requires manufacturers to limit the microwave radiation that can leak through a microwave oven in its lifetime to 5 milliwatts per square centimeter, about 2 inches from the microwave itself.
Even though this is a limit that is far below any level that could harm humans it is recommended never to be within two inches of your microwave while it’s on.
The further away, the better, but at least a foot is going to limit the possible amount of microwaves that you are going to be exposed to.
I would personally recommend keeping the microwave and yourself at a distance of 5 feet.
Can you put something between you and the microwave to protect yourself?
If you are truly worried about microwaves, you can also use lead to help stop the microwaves from reaching you.
A lead sheet or a lead apron is going to be able to block any potential microwaves that might penetrate your body or that might cause you issues.
You can get lead that is meant to help insulate the microwave and keep the microwaves in and that is also designed to help protect you from them.
Do microwaves kill sperm?
The short answer is yes. Microwaves can kill sperm and they can alter them as well. If you are exposed to large amounts of microwave radiation can damage and kill sperm.
Generally, this is not going to be a permanent change in your body.
For the most part, if you are exposed to large amounts of microwaves all at once and then you are not exposed anymore, your sperm will recover and you will not be permanently sterile.
If you are exposed to very high concentrations of microwaves you are more likely to experience longer periods of sterility, but you are still not likely to become fully sterile from a microwave oven.
In order for you to be made permanently sterile from microwaves, you are going to need to be exposed to much higher concentrations of microwaves than any possible radiation that you might experience from your microwave oven.
If a microwave has damaged my sperm count, how do I fix it?
If you believe that your sperm count has been affected by microwaves, it is best to get to a doctor.
They are going to be able to do a few things.
First, they are going to be able to run necessary tests to see if your sperm count has actually been affected.
They can measure your level of radiation, they can ensure that your sperm count is intact and they can help you to start to understand how long it is going to be until you get back to a normal sperm count.
They can also offer help and guidance about any treatment that will help you get back to your normal sperm count.
If you believe that there is a problem, the help of a medical professional is going to be your best bet at getting back on track.
What are the dangers of using an old/broken microwave?
There are plenty of dangers in using a broken or old microwave.
Microwaves are designed to contain the microwaves that are used to cook food.
They are designed with a metal body and interior to help the microwaves bounce around and penetrate the food.
They are designed with a mesh screen in front of the glass to help keep the microwaves inside, and they are designed with a tight-fitting door.
If a microwave is damaged, the waves are more likely to be able to escape.
If the microwave is old or damaged, these safeguards are not going to be as efficient and they are not going to protect you as wholly as they should be able to.
This means that if you have an old or damaged microwave, you are more likely to deal with radiation from these machines than you are from newer models.
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