Meta-analysis shows mobile phones could hurt sperm #GoodScienceReporting

 A meta-analysis of studies looking at sperm quality and mobile phone exposure suggests that more research should be done to make sure our phones aren’t making us infertile. The study, published by Fiona Matthews and colleagues in Environment International, is certainly provocative. However, a BBC article by James Gallagher and the authors themselves are sure to not overstate the meaning of their results (how refreshing!).

Matthews added: “The studies are coming out with a consistent message that sperm motility declines with exposure to mobile telephones… I think for your average man there’s certainly no need to panic, if you already know you have a potential fertility issue then it might be an additional thing to consider – just as you might change your diet – you might want to change where you keep your phone.” She acknowledged criticisms from other scientists about the quality of the evidence saying she “absolutely calls for more research“.

Unfortunately, the same can’t be said of a Science World Report article titled, “Cell phones can impact men’s fertility.” Womp Womp.

This is actually the second meta-analysis suggesting a link between mobile phones and sperm, as last year M Narayana Bhat published similar findings. As someone who keeps my phone in my front pocket, I will definitely be paying attention to see if more research is done in this area… although perhaps it is already too late.

Dr Mathews concluded: “This is interesting, but we’re obviously not saying that everyone who carries a phone in their pocket is going to become infertile.”