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Surprising Science

Cell Phones May Lower Male Fertility

Researchers from Queen’s University, Canada, found that mobile use may lower sperm quality and lead to a decrease in fertility because of effects on the brain’s pituitary gland. 

What’s the Latest Development?

After reading recent research from Canada’s Queen University, men who are planning to have children one day may want to reduce how long they spend chatting on their mobile phones. The recent study found there to be a complex set of interactions between male hormones and the electromagnetic waves transmitted by cell phones. “The research team discovered that men who reported cell phone use had higher levels of circulating testosterone but they also had lower levels of luteinizing hormone (L.H.). L.H. is an important reproductive hormone that is secreted by the pituitary gland in the brain.”

What’s the Big Idea?

The British government has advised its citizens to send text messages or to use hands-free calling sets to avoid any potential negative side effects of cell phone use. While the government confirms that there are no proven adverse health consequences, it also notes that this may be because people have been using cell phones for a relatively short amount of time. Its conclusion is that more research is necessary. At present, researchers think that electromagnetic waves emitted by cell phones may have a dual action on male hormone levels and fertility. “E.M.W. may increase the number of cells in the testes that produce testosterone, however it could also lower the levels of L.H. excreted by the pituitary gland.”


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