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June 25, 2014

Infertility: Could That Thing in Your Pants Be Causing It ?

Photo courtesy of Pixabay

Could it be?  Could it be that thing in your pants is making you infertile? The very thing that people revere and worship? The thing people like to take out of their pants and hold in their hands deriving pleasure from for endless hours? The thing people can’t wait to show their friends. “Look at mine, it’s bigger than yours”.

I’m not talking about IT. I am talking about your cell phone. A study published in Environmental International concluded that keeping cellphones in the pants pocket leads to lower sperm quality.

Cellphone, Pants Pocket, Infertility

The study was a meta-analysis and review of 10 studies involving 1,492 men who had visited fertility clinics, research centers, or donated their sperm. Three measurements were used to access sperm quality; motility, viability, and concentration. In other words, how well did the sperm move, the amount of sperm alive in a sample, and the number of sperm per unit of semen.

Compared to a control group, men who kept their cellphones in their pants pocket had an eight percent drop in sperm motility and a nine percent drop in viability. Result on sperm concentration were equivocal.

It’s believed that the radio-frequency electro magnetic radiation (RF-EMR) emitted from cellphones may be responsible for these effects on male fertility.


Infertility affects 14% of couples in industrialized nations with a male fertility factor being implicated 40% of the time. Sperm quality could be affected by the heat emitted from radiofrequencies of the cellphones. Heat is one reason men are told to wear boxer shorts if there’s a fertility problem as doing so keeps the testes cooler.

But, nonthermal factors may play a role, too. Free radicals may be generated by cellphones that lead to DNA damage of sperm, affect the cell cycle of sperm, and increase sperm cell death.

There’s also been a 17% drop in male testostereone levels between 1987 and 2004 (probably environmental – toxins, hormones fed to animals, etc) which could have an effect on male fertility.

Cellphones and RF-EMR

Today’s cellphones emit low frequency EMR not likely to ionize molecules or atoms. But, today’s cellphones have been associated with increased blood pressure, frontal headaches, and EEG changes during sleep. Whether or not cellphones contribute to brain cancer will probably be an ongoing debate and one with research to support both sides of the argument.

So Take it Out!

So what can you do to improve sperm quality? Take it out of your pants and let it breath a little. No, not that thing. Your cellphone. Enjoy the Seinfeld clip below!



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Dr. Joe Jacko

Dr. Joe is board certified in internal medicine and sports medicine with additional training in hormone replacement therapy and regenerative medicine. He has trained or practiced at leading institutions including the Hughston Clinic, Cooper Clinic, Steadman-Hawkins Clinic of the Carolinas, and Cenegenics. He currently practices in Columbus, Ohio at Grandview Primary Care. Read more about Dr. Joe Jacko

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