It wakes up with you in the morning. It hangs out with you during the day. It goes to bed with you at night. You talk with it, text with it, tweet with it and snap with it. It may seem like your cell phone is a permanent fixture in your life. But if you’re keeping your phone in your pocket, it could be frying your swimmers with dangerous amounts of heat and radiation. Let’s take a closer look at how cell phones affect sperm count
We say it a lot on this site: Don’t Cook Your Balls. Seriously. Healthy and happy sperm require an environment of about 4 degrees Fahrenheit cooler than your body temperature. heat and your swimmers start to die. If your balls stay at an elevated temperature for a prolonged amount of time, sperm production is affected. Instead of swimmers at the top of their game, you produce fewer, more abnormally shaped sperm. Long story short: heat exposure can drastically reduce the three secrets to baby-making sperm: motility, morphology and sperm count.
While it may have worked wonders for Spider-Man, the Hulk and the Fantastic Four, the radiation from your cell phone will make your swimmers anything but super. To get a signal, your phone needs to emit radio waves, which are a form of electromagnetic radiation (EMR). EMR is measured in watts per kilogram (W/kg), which is very similar to miles per gallon- how much energy is absorbed in relation to mass. The standard absorption rate or (SAR) uses the W/kg to determine how much radiation is absorbed in the body per mass of exposed tissue. Find a list of SAR values for popular cell phones here.
So what does this have to do with your balls? Keeping your phone in your pocket can cause your balls to come in close contact with electromagnetic radiation. EMR causes a significant rise in Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) ROS is a byproduct of your sperm, and while a little bit can be a good thing (it gets your boys pumped to fertilize the egg), too much can cause some major issues. Large amounts of ROS can damage the sperm’s outer membrane, so that it can’t fertilize the egg. It can also damage the sperm’s DNA, which could mean further DNA replication problems along the way which could lead to miscarriages or birth defects.
Of course, the amount of damage your swimmers take depends on how long your phone has been riding around in your pocket. The longer the exposure and the higher SAR for your phone, the more harm it does to your sperm. Luckily there are products out there designed to protect your swimmers from getting nuked by your phone. Cellular Deflector created a shield for your phone, a light weight pocket insert designed to shield your giblets from heat and EMR. You can also avoid putting it your phone directly in your pocket. Stash it in your cup holder, on your desk, hold on to it. Just do what you have to do to keep your cell phone away from your balls.
De Iuliis GN, Newey RJ, King BV, Aitken RJ. Mobile phone radiation induces reactive oxygen species production and DNA damage in human spermatozoa in vitro. PLoS One. 2009 Jul 31;4(7):e6446. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0006446. Erratum in: PLoS One. 2013;8(3). doi:10.1371/annotation/9a8a0172-3850-4059-b852-72c330769c1b. PubMed PMID: 19649291; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2714176.
Erogul O, Oztas E, Yildirim I, Kir T, Aydur E, Komesli G, Irkilata HC, Irmak MK, Peker AF. Effects of electromagnetic radiation from a cellular phone on human sperm motility: an in vitro study. Arch Med Res. 2006 Oct;37(7):840-3. PubMed PMID: 16971222.
Mailankot M, Kunnath AP, Jayalekshmi H, Koduru B, Valsalan R. Radio frequency electromagnetic radiation (RF-EMR) from GSM (0.9/1.8GHz) mobile phones induces oxidative stress and reduces sperm motility in rats. Clinics (Sao Paulo). 2009;64(6):561-5. PubMed PMID: 19578660; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2705159.
Erogul O, Oztas E, Yildirim I, Kir T, Aydur E, Komesli G, Irkilata HC, Irmak MK, Peker AF.Effects of electromagnetic radiation from a cellular phone on human sperm motility: an in vitro study.Arch Med Res. 2006 Oct;37(7):840-3. PubMed PMID: 16971222.
Mailankot M, Kunnath AP, Jayalekshmi H, Koduru B, Valsalan R.Radio frequency electromagnetic radiation (RF-EMR) from GSM (0.9/1.8GHz) mobile phones induces oxidative stress and reduces sperm motility in rats.Clinics (Sao Paulo). 2009;64(6):561-5. PubMed PMID: 19578660; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2705159.