Is Radiation From Your Cell Phone Killing Your Sperm?

Can cell phone radiation damage sperm?

Let’s look at some important facts. Firstly, male fertility is dropping across the globe. Around 14% of couples in high and middle income countries have difficulty conceiving. Male infertility is involved approximately 50% of the time. Numerous countries have reported unexplained declines in semen quality.

Secondly, cell phones operate by sending and receiving radio frequency microwave radiation, a form of electromagnetic field, from their antennas to cell towers. Any form of wireless communication, be it talking, texting, streaming videos or using the WiFi or Bluetooth functionality on your cell phone exposes you to this radiation.

cell phone radiation damage sperm

Let’s look into the studies to see if cell phone radiation can damage sperm.


Multiple Studies Find Cell Phone Radiation Can Damage Sperm

Multiple review studies have found that cell phone radiation damages sperm – review studies are widely regarded as being of more value than single studies because they review research from a number of individual studies.

A 2016 review study [0] looked at 27 scientific studies investigating the effects of radio frequency (RF) radiation of the type emitted by cell phones on the male reproductive system. The researchers found that 21 of these studies reported some kind of negative impact of these radiation exposures. The effects observed were mainly centered around a decrease in sperm motility (how fast the sperm swims) and viability as well as evidence of DNA damage.

In 2014, systematic review and meta-analysis of published data on RF Radiation induced decline in sperm quality [1] was carried out to evaluate the effects of exposure to RF radiation emitted from mobile phones on human sperm quality.
The researchers who analyzed 10 studies and over 1500 samples, found that cell phone exposure was associated with a descent in sperm motility and a decline in sperm viability.

According to the head researcher Prof. Fiona Mathews, results from their study “…strongly suggests that being exposed to radio-frequency electromagnetic radiation from carrying mobiles in trouser pockets negatively affects sperm quality.


Cell Phone Users Have A Higher Risk Of Damage To Their Sperm

A study [2] on the relationship between cell phone use and semen quality reported that high volume cell phone users have a higher risk of damage to their sperm as a result of frequent radiation from the phone.

Several studies have shown a decline in sperm quality caused by RF radiation. In this context, sperm quality is determined by their motility (how fast the sperm swims), vitality (how strong they are i.e. if they can make it to the egg alive) and their concentration per unit volume in semen.


Men Who Carry Their Phones In Their Front Pocket Have Fewer Mobile Sperm

A 2005 study [3] carried out to evaluate lifestyle factors that influence semen quality reported that men who carried a phone in the front pocket or on the belt had fewer mobile sperm than those who kept a phone elsewhere on the body.

In 2002, German research [4] was carried out to study the influence of electromagnetic waves on sperm motility. In the study design, male volunteers who carried a cell phone on the belt and actively used it for 5 days were evaluated and their semen analyzed.

cell phone radiation damage to sperm

The studies authors concluded that cell phone use was associated with decreased sperm motility as the percentage of highly motile sperm (classified as “rapid progressive sperm”) dropped massively after exposure to cell phone radiation.


Lab Results Finds Cell Phone Radiation Can Impair Male Fertility

An in-vitro study [5] was carried out at the Cleveland Clinic to evaluate the effects of radiation from cellular phones on human ejaculated semen. The researchers collected semen samples from 23 normal healthy donors and 9 infertile patients; the samples were exposed to cell phone radiation under laboratory conditions. The radiation exposed semen samples showed a significant drop in sperm motility and viability.

The studies authors concluded that, “keeping the cell phone in a trouser pocket in talk mode may negatively affect spermatozoa and impair male fertility”.


Cell Phone Radiation Can Cause Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction (impotence) is the inability to get and keep an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse. A man is considered to have erectile dysfunction if he regularly finds it difficult getting or keeping a firm enough erection to be able to have sex, or if it interferes with other sexual activity.

At the World Assembly for Sexual Medicine in 2012 [6], it was reported that men with erectile dysfunction are 2.6 times more likely to have mobile phones in the front pocket of their trousers. The researchers found that these men have a high tendency of having serious cases of erectile dysfunction, due to the close proximity of the phone to their balls which affects the testicles ability to produce testosterone.


Cell Phone Radiation Can Cause Decreased Testosterone

Animal studies have shown that cell phone radiation can cause a profound decrease in testosterone levels. Testosterone is the primary male gender hormone and any change in the normal levels may be devastating for reproductive and general health.

A 2014 study [7] showed that rats exposed to radio frequency radiation experienced reduced sperm production and mobility, disorders of circadian rhythms, and reduced testosterone levels.

In a 2010 study [8] rats that were exposed to 60 minutes a day of cell phone radiation resulted in a significant decrease in testosterone. In the paper, the researchers concluded that “long-term exposure to mobile phone radiation leads to a reduction in serum testosterone levels.”

These studies clearly show that prolonged exposure to cell phone radiation affects the function and structure of the testes as well as the ejaculatory frequency, which can cause erectile dysfunction.


Cell Phone Radiation Can Literally Fry Your Balls

Several studies [9] [10] have found that cell phone radiation can cause oxidative damage in cells. Oxidative stress is widely regarded as a contributor to virtually every major chronic disease including cancer, Alzheimer's, heart disease and diabetes.

What is the sense in consuming antioxidants to improve your health and improve testosterone levels if you keep your cell phone next to your balls – clearly radiation from cell phones can oxidize the cells inside your testicles (literally frying your balls) that can also lead to low testosterone levels.

cell phone radiation and male fertility

This study [10] also linked radiation from cell phone to various cellular effects, including degeneration in the seminiferous tubules, a reduction in the number of Leydig cells and testosterone production, as well as increases in luteinizing hormone levels and apoptotic cells in male rats.


Cell Phone Radiation Can Cause Infertility

A 2017 review paper [11] reports, “a number of respected infertility clinics in Australia, India, USA, and Iran are reporting that those who regularly use mobile phones tend to have reduced sperm quantity and quality”.
The connection is stronger now more than ever; confirmed by several studies in humans and animals.


Wake-Up Call

Given the backdrop of increasing infertility rates and the research findings as laid out on this page the evidence is strong, radiation emitted by cell phones can have a detrimental effect on male fertility and in particular cell phone radiation can damage sperm.

This should be a wake-up call to male cell phone users who are trying to have children or may want to in the future to practice simple, precautionary safe cell phone use habits.

To read my safe cell phone use tips click here.

If you're curious whether cell phone radiation impacts female fertility click here.


0. Houston BJ, Nixon B, King BV, De Iuliis GN, Aitken RJ. The effects of radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation on sperm function. 2016 Dec;152(6):R263-R276. Epub 2016 Sep 6.
1. Adams JA, Galloway TS, Mondal D, Esteves SC, Mathews F. Effect of mobile telephones on sperm quality: A systematic review and meta-analysis [Internet]. Environment International. Pergamon; 2014 [cited 2018 Feb 27]. p. 106–12. doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2014.04.015.
2. Fejes I, Závaczki Z, Szöllosi J, Koloszár S, Daru J, Kovács L, Pál A. Is there a relationship between cell phone use and semen quality? Syst Biol Reprod Med. 2005; 51: 385–93. doi: 10.1080/014850190924520.
3. Kilgallon SJ, Simmons LW. Image content influences men’s semen quality. Biol Lett [Internet]. The Royal Society; 2005 [cited 2018 Feb 27]; 1: 253–5. doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2005.0324.
5. Agarwal A, Desai NR, Makker K, Varghese A, Mouradi R, Sabanegh E, Sharma R. Effects of radiofrequency electromagnetic waves (RF-EMW) from cellular phones on human ejaculated semen: an in vitro pilot study. Fertil Steril [Internet]. 2009 [cited 2018 Feb 28]; 92: 1318–25. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2008.08.022.
6. Abstracts of the World Meeting on Sexual Medicine. Chicago, Illinois, USA. August 26-30, 2012. The journal of sexual medicine [Internet]. Elsevier; 2012 [cited 2018 Feb 28]. p. 183–302. doi: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2012.02863.x.
7. Qin F, Zhang J, Cao H, Guo W, Chen L, Shen O, Sun J, Yi C, Li J, Wang J, Tong J. Circadian alterations of reproductive functional markers in male rats exposed to 1800 MHz radiofrequency field. Chronobiol Int [Internet]. 2014 [cited 2018 Feb 28]; 31: 123–33. doi: 10.3109/07420528.2013.830622.
8. Meo SA, Al-Drees AM, Husain S, Khan MM, Imran MB. Effects of mobile phone radiation on serum testosterone in Wistar albino rats. Saudi Med J [Internet]. 2010 [cited 2018 Feb 28]; 31: 869–73. Available from
9. Yakymenko I, Sidorik E, Henshel D, Kyrylenko S, Author C, Vasylkivska IY. Low intensity radiofrequency radiation: a new oxidant for living cells. Oxid Antioxid Med Sci [Internet]. 2014 [cited 2018 Feb 28]; 3: 1–3. doi: 10.5455/oams.240314.ed.002.
10. La Vignera S, Condorelli RA, Vicari E, D’Agata R, Calogero AE. Effects of the Exposure to Mobile Phones on Male Reproduction: A Review of the Literature. J Androl [Internet]. 2012 [cited 2018 Feb 28]; 33: 350–6. doi: 10.2164/jandrol.111.014373.
11. Sepehrimanesh M, Davis DL. Proteomic impacts of electromagnetic fields on the male reproductive system. Comp Clin Path [Internet]. Springer London; 2017 [cited 2018 Feb 28]; 26: 309–13. doi: 10.1007/s00580-016-2342-x.

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