Mobile phones have brought the world closer and have made life easy during a very trying time. But those have their disadvantages too. They could have negative impacts on health due to the fact that they emit radiofrequency electromagnetic waves (RF-EMWs), which are absorbed by the body. According to the detailed meta-analysis from 2011, previous studies have indicated that RF-EMWs emitted by mobile phones degrade sperm quality by reducing their motility, viability, and concentration. However, this meta-analysis had a few limitations, as it had low amounts of in vivo data and considered mobile phone models that are now outdated.
To be more specific about the results, a team of researchers led by Assistant Professor Yun Hak Kim from Pusan National University, Korea, conducted a new meta-analysis on the potential effects of mobile phones on sperm quality. They screened 435 studies and records published between 2012 and 2021 covering a total of 4,280 samples and they found that 18 were suitable for the statistical analyses. Their results were published in Environmental Research.
The study results indicated that the mobile phone use is indeed associated with reduced sperm motility, viability, and concentration. These findings are more elegant than those from the previous meta-analysis thanks to a better subgroup analysis of the data. Another important feature is that the researchers looked into it as if higher exposure time to mobile phones was correlated to lower sperm quality. However, they found out that the decrease in sperm quality was not significantly related to exposure time just to exposure to mobile phones itself. Considering the results were consistent across both in vivo and in vitro (cultured sperm) data, Dr. Kim warns that “Male cell-phone users should strive to reduce mobile phone use to protect their sperm quality.”
The number of mobile phone users are most likely going to increase in the near future, and now is the high time that we start considering exposure to RF-EMW as one of the factors causing a reduction in sperm quality among the male population. Moreover, seeing how technologies evolve so quickly, Dr. Kim remarks that “additional studies will be needed to determine the effect of exposure to EMWs emitted from new mobile phone models in the present digital environment.” On conclusion, it may be a good idea to limit your daily mobile phone use to avoid infertility (and potentially other aspects of your health).