A study revealed that the consistent use of mobile phones, which emit electromagnetic radiation, could lead to a reduction in sperm concentration and the total sperm count. Nevertheless, the research, published in the journal Fertility & Sterility, found no significant link between mobile phone usage and decreased sperm motility or altered sperm morphology.
While various factors have been suggested to explain the observed decline in semen quality over the past fifty years, the precise role of mobile phones in this decline has yet to be firmly established. To explore this, a team from the University of Geneva (UNIGE) in Switzerland conducted a cross-sectional study based on data from 2,886 Swiss men aged between 18 and 22, collected from 2005 to 2018. The data unveiled an association between frequent phone use and diminished sperm concentration.
The median sperm concentration was notably higher among men who used their phones less than once a week (56.5 million/mL) in comparison to those who used their phones more than 20 times a day (44.5 million/mL). Researchers highlighted a 21% decrease in sperm concentration for those using their phones frequently (>20 times/day) versus those who used their phones infrequently (<1 time/week). Semen quality is assessed based on parameters like sperm concentration, total sperm count, sperm motility, and sperm morphology.
Multiple studies have consistently shown a decrease in semen quality over the past five decades. Sperm count has declined from an average of 99 million sperm per milliliter to 47 million per milliliter. This decline is believed to be the result of a combination of environmental factors (such as endocrine disruptors, pesticides, and radiation) and lifestyle choices (including diet, alcohol consumption, stress, and smoking). Moreover, the analysis of the data did not indicate a connection between the placement of the phone—like carrying it in a trouser pocket—and lower semen parameters. “However, the number of participants in this study who reported not carrying their phone close to their body was too small to draw a definitive conclusion on this specific aspect,” added Rita Rahban from the university.