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Does Your Phone Reduce Sperm Count?

Male Fertility and Phone: Does your mobile phone damage your sperm health?

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In a world where mobile phones have become an extension of ourselves, it’s essential to stay informed about their potential impact on our health. Recent research conducted by Swiss scientists at the University of Geneva has shed light on a connection that might raise some eyebrows. The study, carried out between 2005 and 2018, involved 2,886 men aged 18 to 22 who provided sperm samples and recorded their mobile phone usage. The findings are eye-opening, suggesting that the frequency of mobile phone use might be influencing sperm count.

Do Cell Phones Reduce Sperm Count?

The research revealed that men who used their mobile phones more frequently, up to 20 times a day, had lower sperm counts compared to those who used their phones less frequently, perhaps just once a week. More notably, those who were on their phones over 20 times daily faced a 21% higher risk of having a low sperm count. These findings pose a compelling question: is your smartphone usage impacting your reproductive potential?

Interestingly, the study showed that as mobile technology improved, the occurrence of low sperm counts decreased. With each upgrade in cell phone signals, such as the transition from 2G to 3G and then to 4G, less power was needed to transmit signals. This suggests that the health implications of mobile phone use are intertwined with technological advancements.

Contrary to popular belief, where you carry your phone—whether in your pants pocket, on your belt, or in your jacket—didn’t seem to be a significant factor in lower sperm counts among the study participants.

However, the study did not find any association between the use of the devices and low sperm motility (movement) and morphology (shape).

Additionally, Allan Pacey, professor of andrology at the University of Manchester, highlights that “We should be cautious about its interpretation as it only shows an association between mobile phone use and semen quality. We cannot be sure that the mobile phone is not a surrogate marker for another aspect of the men’s lifestyle or occupation that is the real cause of any changes to their sperm quality.”

Understanding the Impact of Phones on Fertility

A low sperm count, medically known as oligospermia, can result in various issues, including decreased facial and body hair, erectile dysfunction, low sex drive, pain, swelling, or lumps in the testicle area, and, most significantly, difficulties in impregnating a woman. The World Health Organization (WHO) states that a man is likely to take more than a year to conceive if his sperm concentration is below 15 million per milliliter. Additionally, the chances of pregnancy decrease if the sperm concentration falls below 40 million per milliliter.

Over the last 50 years, there has been a noticeable decline in semen quality, attributed to a combination of environmental factors like pesticides and radiation, as well as lifestyle habits, including diet, alcohol consumption, stress, and smoking.

The study also pointed out that the connection between mobile phone use and sperm quality was more pronounced in the earlier study period (2005-2007) and gradually decreased over time (2008-2011 and 2012-2018). This indicates that newer technologies, like 4G, may have fewer adverse effects compared to older versions.

To know what your sperm health is, and if it’s decreasing quickly over time, you need to get your sperm tested, and ideally track over several months. One such convenient testing option is the ExSeed At-Home Sperm Test, an entirely-from-home male fertility analysis that measures your Total Motile Sperm Count, a leading indicator of conception chances on the male side.

What Do the Experts Think?

While the study’s findings are intriguing, experts suggest that there’s no need to panic. Professor Allan Pacey, a professor of andrology at the University of Manchester, reassures us that there’s no cause for alarm. “I have been asked many times over the past decade whether there is any link between mobile phones and male fertility, however, I have been largely unconvinced by the data which has been published to date”, he says. “If men are concerned, then keeping their phones in a bag and limiting their use is a relatively easy thing for them to do. But there is currently no evidence that will improve their sperm quality (that would need a randomised controlled trial).”

Men looking to conceive or improve their sperm health should focus on maintaining a healthy lifestyle. This includes regular exercise (while avoiding overheating in the groin area), a balanced diet, maintaining a healthy weight, refraining from smoking, limiting alcohol consumption, and seeking professional help if they face challenges in conceiving.

While the research points to a potential connection between mobile phone use and sperm count, it’s important to remember that further studies are needed to confirm these findings conclusively. In the meantime, adopting a healthy lifestyle remains the best way to support your reproductive health. And don’t worry about keeping your phone in your pocket; it’s not time to change that habit just yet!

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Wearing tight pants and underwear

Studies show that men who wear looser underwear have higher sperm concentration and total sperm count compared to men who wear tighter underwear. So, lose the tight clothes and wear something loose to give your testicles some air.

CONCLUSION: learn more about how heat can affect sperm quality here.


Besides higher mortality rate and various diseases, stress is associated with low sperm quality. Stress is known to be associated with lower testosterone levels and oxidative stress with both playing an essential role in producing and maintaining healthy sperm cells.

CONCLUSION: If you feel stressed, we recommend you get some help so you can have a balanced mental health. For a stress management guide, download the ExSeed app for free and start your personalized action plan today.

Physical activity

Scientific studies show that men who are physically active have better semen parameters than men who are inactive. Fertility specialists also state that regular physical activity has beneficial impact on sperm fertility parameters and such a lifestyle can enhance the fertility status of men.

Prioritizing exercise can help improve your overall health and result in healthy, fast swimming sperm cells that have good chances of fertilizing an egg.

CONCLUSION: Try incorporating exercise in your weekly schedule to you ensure exercising at least twice weekly. We recommend a combination of cardio training and strength exercise. Read more about exercise and male fertility on our blog.


Fast Food
Processed foods damage the health of sperm-producing cells and cause oxidative stress, which lead to poorer sperm quality. Heavy consumption of junk food (every week) can increase the likelihood of infertility since men who consume vast amounts of unhealthy food are at risk of having poor sperm quality. Besides harming your fertility, junk food enlarges your waistline, harms your cardiovascular system, kidneys, and more.

Eating more fruit and vegetables can increase your sperm concentration and motility. It’s important that you consume a healthy diet filled with antioxidants and that you eat vegetables every day. Foods such as apricots and red bell peppers are high in vitamin A, which improves male fertility by nurturing healthier sperm. Men who are deficient in this vitamin tend to have slow and sluggish sperm.

Sugary snacks/beverages: several times a week Excessive consumption of high sugar items can lead to oxidative stress, which negatively impacts testosterone levels and sperm motility. Sugary snacks and beverages are also highly associated with obesity and low fertility.
CONCLUSION: To boost sperm quality, stay away from fast food, processed food, and sugary snacks or beverages. You need to implement a healthy prudent diet filled with necessary superfoods needed for good sperm production. Check out our guide to Male Fertility Superfoods. For personalized guidance and support on how you can start improving your sperm health, check out the Bootcamp.


Direct heat can inhibit optimal sperm production and cause Sperm DNA damage. Sperm cells like environments that are a couple of degrees lower than body temperature. Avoid overheating from warm blankets, seat warmers, heat from your laptop, hot showers, and saunas.

Cigarette smoking

The exposure to tobacco smoke has significant negative effects on semen quality. The damage of cigarettes and nicotine of course depends on how many cigarettes you smoke per day and for how long, but even low usage (up to 10 cigarettes / day) can inhibit healthy sperm production.  

CONCLUSION: Stay as far away from cigarette smoking as possible if you care about your general health and your fertility. Read more here.

Cell phone

When you have your cell phone in your front pocket, your testicles are exposed to electromagnetic radiation, which studies have shown to damage the sperm cells. Put your phone in the back pocket of your pants or in your jacket pocket.


There is a clear association between obesity and reduced sperm quality. At least part of the reason for this is that obese men may have abnormal reproductive hormonal profiles, which can impair sperm production and lead to infertility. 

A BMI higher than 30 can lead to several processes in the body (overheating, increase in oxidative stress in the testes, sperm DNA damage, erectile dysfunction) that can have a negative impact on male fertility. This can result in problems when trying to conceive.  

CONCLUSION: BMI is one of the risk factors that influence semen quality and, for example, sperm motility.  


A beer or glass of wine now and then do not really harm sperm quality. But excess alcohol drinking (more than 20 units per week) can reduce the production of normally formed sperm needed for a successful pregnancy.

CONCLUSION: If you want to stay safe, stay under 14 units of alcohol per week. For more information on how alcohol can affect male fertility, take a look at our blog: “Alcohol and Sperm Quality”.


Studies show that women younger than 35 and men younger than 40 have a better chance of getting pregnant. Men can produce sperm cells almost through their entire life, but the sperm cell DNA is more fragile and prone to damage after the age of 40.

As men age, their testes tend to get smaller and softer resulting in a decline in sperm quality and production. These changes are partly because of an age-related decrease in testosterone level, which plays a very important role in sperm

production. Higher male age (>40 years) is not only associated with a decline in sperm production but also with increased sperm DNA fragmentation and worsened morphology (shape) and motility (movement). These negative effects make the sperm cells less qualified for egg fertilization.

CONCLUSION: with an age under 40, you shouldn’t have to worry much about age as a factor in itself. However, studies have shown a slow decline after the age of 30-35 years

and if you are above 40 years of age, your sperm quality can be affected due to increased sperm DNA damage resulting in a decrease of sperm motility and concentration. Remember that you cannot evaluate the quality of a sperm sample by just looking at it – this requires a sperm analysis.