Effects of the Exposure to Mobile Phones on Male Reproduction: A Review of the Literature

J Androl. May-Jun 2012;33(3):350-6. doi: 10.2164/jandrol.111.014373. Epub 2011 Jul 28.

Abstract

The use of mobile phones is now widespread. A great debate exists about the possible damage that the radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation (RF-EMR) emitted by mobile phones exerts on different organs and apparatuses. The aim of this article was to review the existing literature exploring the effects of RF-EMR on the male reproductive function in experimental animals and humans. Studies have been conducted in rats, mice, and rabbits using a similar design based upon mobile phone RF exposure for variable lengths of time. Together, the results of these studies have shown that RF-EMR decreases sperm count and motility and increases oxidative stress. In humans, 2 different experimental approaches have been followed: one has explored the effects of RF-EMR directly on spermatozoa and the other has evaluated the sperm parameters in men using or not using mobile phones. The results showed that human spermatozoa exposed to RF-EMR have decreased motility, morphometric abnormalities, and increased oxidative stress, whereas men using mobile phones have decreased sperm concentration, decreased motility (particularly rapid progressive motility), normal morphology, and decreased viability. These abnormalities seem to be directly related to the duration of mobile phone use.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Phone*
  • Humans
  • Infertility, Male / epidemiology
  • Infertility, Male / etiology*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Oxidative Stress / radiation effects
  • Rabbits
  • Radio Waves / adverse effects*
  • Rats
  • Reproduction / radiation effects
  • Semen Analysis
  • Spermatozoa / radiation effects*