Cell phones and male infertility: dissecting the relationship

Reprod Biomed Online. 2007 Sep;15(3):266-70. doi: 10.1016/s1472-6483(10)60338-0.


There has been a tremendous increase in the use of mobile phones in the past decade and concerns are growing about the possible hazardous effects of radio-frequency electromagnetic waves (EMW) emitted by these devices on human health. Preliminary studies, though with limitations in study design, suggest a possible link between cell phone use and infertility. A recent study found that use of cell phones adversely affects the quality of semen by decreasing the sperm counts, motility, viability and morphology. Evidence of detrimental effect of mobile phones on male fertility is still equivocal as studies have revealed a wide spectrum of possible effects ranging from insignificant effects to variable degrees of testicular damage. Although previous studies suggested a role of cell phone use in male infertility, the mode of action of EMW emitted from cell phones on the male reproductive system is still unclear. EMW can affect the reproductive system via an EMW-specific effect, thermal molecular effect or combination of both. Studies performed on human males are scarce and therefore further studies with a careful design are needed to determine the effect of cell phone use on male-fertilizing potential.

Publication types

  • Portrait
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cell Phone*
  • Humans
  • Infertility, Male / epidemiology*
  • Infertility, Male / etiology
  • Male
  • Radio Waves / adverse effects*
  • Spermatozoa / radiation effects
  • Testis / radiation effects