Study Shows Frequent Phone Use May Have Impact on 'Semen Quality'

What may sound like bad news is arguably good (or even great) news for those concerned with matters of overpopulation.

sperm 3D model
sperm 3D model

If you were hoping to close out the work week with a few hundred words about the possible link between “semen quality” and pervasive phone use, then this one’s for you.

As you’ve no doubt seen across a slew of headlines this week, the results of a recent study from researchers at the University of Geneva and the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute have been making the rounds, complete with some data on the aforementioned pairing.

The study’s findings are pulled from data taken from just under 3,000 Swiss men between the ages of 18 and 22, with the group having been enlisted at multiple military centers from 2005 to 2018. Participants filled out a questionnaire that included injuries on their respective health, as well as questions about how often they used their phones.

Rita Rahban, one of the leaders of the study, said prior research into the possible link between phones and sperm instead used a smaller number of participants from fertility clinics, a facet that caused “inconclusive results.” The new study, however, took a different approach and showed that frequent phone use “is associated with a lower sperm concentration and total sperm count,” researchers announced in a press release shared on Wednesday.

More specifically, data is said to have shown a 21 percent decrease in sperm concentration for men who said they used their phone more than 20 times a day compared to men who said they rarely used their phone.

The reported association was further shown to have “gradually decreased” beyond 2007 and up until the end of the data window, a noticeable trend that researchers said is in line with the advancement of cellular technology over the years, particularly the move from 2G to 3G, and so on.

The study arrives amid ongoing discussions about a larger drop in semen quality in recent years. This decline has been theorized to be caused by a multitude of issues, including (but not limited to) environmental changes.

The last time we were tasked with a feat of sperm-centric headlining, the circumstances were decidedly less scientific and dealt instead with the much-discussed presence of flying sperm amid the set design for Drake and 21 Savage's It's All a Blur tour.

Earlier this year, researchers from Weill Cornell Medicine’s Department of Pharmacology shared promising data regarding a potential on-demand male birth control candidate.

Latest in Life