Do cell phones in pants pockets really cause male infertility?

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Men who use their cell phone for long periods of time each day or keep their phone in close proximity to their groin area may risk lowering the quality of their sperm and becoming infertile, a team of researchers at The Technion Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, Israel, have determined.

Publishing the results of their recent study in an issue of Reproductive Biomedicine Online, the team said it gave 106 men referred for semen analysis questionnaires assessing demographic data and characteristics of cell phone usage.

What they found was that 47.1% of the men who carried their phones less than 20 inches from their groins had abnormally low levels of sperm (in contrast to just 11.1% of the general male population).

The Israeli researchers also found that talking on a cell phone for more than one hour per day or speaking on the device when it is being charged doubled the risk for low semen concentration.

In addition to reducing the amount of time spent talking on the phone and where you place it on your person, researchers suggested men not sleep beside it or speak on it while it’s charging.

While the researchers claimed “significant causal relationships” were found between cell phone use and sperm quality, they noted that “large-scale studies” are needed for more conclusive results.