Is Your Smartphone Killing Your Sperm?

cell phone man
Technology & Health

A new review of several studies confirms that the radiation from cell phones can actually negatively impact a man’s sperm. This has been more so the case since these phones have begun to fit easily into men’s pockets, meaning the source is even closer to those family jewels.

The review of 27 scientific studies examining the effects of a cell phone on men’s reproduction shows that at least 21 of the studies demonstrate some form of negative effect. In most of the studies, it was shown that the radiation effects sperm mobility, and there is some evidence of DNA damage done to the sperm themselves. [1]

In an Israeli study earlier this year where 100 men were studied, it was found that 47% of men who kept their cell phones in their front pockets experienced low sperm levels, as opposed to 11% of the general male population who face this issue. The study also demonstrated that men who talked on the phone for an hour a day or more were twice as likely to have degraded sperm quality as those who did not speak on the phone that long.

The authors of the Israeli study believe that the issue is not necessarily radioactivity, but the heat from the phone can cause the sperm to literally “cook.” The heat from phones may be different as well depending on the model, as some are known more than others for their capacity of overheating.

Professor Martha Dirnfeld, of the Technion University in Haifa, who helped carry out the Israeli study, stated:

“The [sperm] levels were down to a number that would make conception difficult. If you are trying for a baby and it doesn’t happen within a year you might want to think of whether it could be your mobile phone habit that is to blame.”

Related: 10 Ways To Reduce Radiation from Cell Phone Use

Other research from the University of Exeter also pinpoints cell phones as having a detrimental effect on sperm counts, and suggests men who keep their phones in their front pockets find some other way to tote their device.

“The implications are likely to be greatest for subgroups of men with multiple exposures to different factors which act together to affect their sperm; and possibly for men who already have borderline fertility,” said researcher Fiona Mathews, PhD., discussing the findings of her work to the Huffington Post.

Researchers are concluding that they feel more intensive research is needed in order to come to more educated conclusion on the damage males might sustain from using their cell phone too often.


[1] IFLScience