Question & Answer

Do mobile phones impact fertility?

Click image to download
  • Claims have been made that exposure to mobile phones is linked to reduced fertility.
  • One systematic review that includes participants from fertility clinics and research centres, reported a link between using mobile phones and a decrease in the movement and health of sperm. In another study, two long-term studies that followed 3100 men from Europe and North America for eight years were merged and analysed together. As a result, it showed men with a body mass index (BMI) of less than 25 kg/m2 who kept mobile phones in their front pants pocket had a lower likelihood of being fertile compared to those who did not. However, the study did not find a clear link among men who were overweight or obese with a BMI of 25 kg/m2 or more.
  • We could not find any research regarding the impact of mobile phone exposure on women’s fertility.
  • The British Association of Urological Surgeons recommends that men who have low sperm counts avoid carrying their mobile phones in their trouser pocket, among other lifestyle changes that can potentially increase fertility. We need more research to better understand the effects and how important these risks are for both men and women.

Things to Remember


  • Lead Researcher: Dr. Petek Eylül Taneri, Post-Doctoral Researcher, University of Galway
  • Reviewed by: Prof. Declan Devane, School of Nursing and Midwifery, HRB-Trials Methodology Research Network, Evidence Synthesis Ireland & Cochrane Ireland, University of Galway
  • Topic advisor: Dr. Caroline McCarthy, Clinical Lecturer and Research Fellow, Department of General Practice, RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences and General Practitioner, Leixlip, Co Kildare.
  • Public and Patient advisor: Anne Daly, Public and Patient Involvement in research (PPI) advisor, PPI Ignite, University of Galway.
  • Journalist Advisor: Dr. Claire O’Connell, PhD in cell biology, Masters in Science Communication. Contributor to The Irish Times, writing about health, science and innovation.

Conflict of Interest Statement: The authors have no financial or other conflicts of interest for this health claim.