Is your smartphone keeping you from starting a family?

Is your smartphone keeping you from starting a family?

Published on: Mar 10, 2023 | Updated on: Dec 12, 2023

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This article is based on accurate information and has been verified by our team of healthcare professionals at Elan Healthcare.
We care about the credibility of our articles and ensure they are fact-checked before publishing.

Medically Reviewed and Authored by:
Pari Saharkhiz, Doctor of Medicine, Canada, Ontario

Table of contents

Key Takeaways

  • Research from Virtual SLEEP 2020 links phone radiation and laptop heat to reduced male fertility, affecting sperm mobility and concentration.
  • Keeping phones in pockets correlates with lower sperm counts, highlighting the potential risks of close proximity to personal devices.
  • Women's fertility may be impacted by electromagnetic radiation from devices; studies show reduced ovarian reserve and disrupted hormonal balance due to phone and laptop usage.
  • Lifestyle changes, including limiting screen time and increasing physical activity, can mitigate the negative effects of device usage on both male and female fertility.
  • Practical tips like monitoring screen time, turning off electronics, and removing them from sleeping areas can reduce exposure to phone radiation and support reproductive health.
  • Men’s fertility and personal devices

    Could your personal devices be affecting your fertility? It's a question that's been on the minds of many people lately, and the answer may surprise you. According to recent research presented at Virtual SLEEP 2020, the radiation emitted by phones and other gadgets may have a significant impact on male fertility.

    Usage of phones late at night.

    It turns out that our beloved personal devices and gadgets might not be as harmless as we once thought. In fact, recent research has revealed a potential link between male fertility and exposure to radiation emitted by electronic devices such as smartphones and laptops.

    A study conducted by Virtual SLEEP 2020 found that the use of electronic devices late at night can lead to a reduction in sperm mobility, progression mobility, and concentration in men. This means that the radiation emitted by these devices can affect the quality and quantity of male sperm, potentially leading to infertility.

    Additionally, the study found that the percentage of immotile sperm increased with increased exposure to the short-wavelength light produced by these devices. However, there is some good news - longer sleep duration was shown to be associated with both overall progressive motility and total sperm count.

    Less exercise and more screen time could potentially be impactful. 

    Additionally, factors related to our ways of life, such as screen time and low physical exercise, may also contribute to a decline in male fertility. Long-term use of electronic devices has been associated with decreasing sperm quality and impaired fertility, and many people may engage in less physical exercise. So, in a way to kind of avoid having such effects on our personal electrical devices, we could have them put away from us or have less if unnecessary and be more productive in terms of physical health and exercise, which is important for sperm quality. 

    Heat is a factor that affects infertility.

    Moreover, if you have devices that produce heat then it’s probably that’s a source that affects sperm quality. The reason why we say that is because when the male, for example, has a laptop sitting in their lap for a long period of time, like for hours and the laptop is venting out heat from the bottom then the heat is being directed to the scrotal area of the male. Now, that’s where the male testicles are, and with that happening then the sperm is affected by the heat produced by the laptop. and what that does to the sperm impacts its production and function of it.

    Keeping phones in proximity

    Also, according to research, sperm quality may suffer and be impacted as a result of radiation to radiation emitted. Men who kept their phones in their pockets had lower sperm counts and spermatozoa than men who keep their smartphones out of their pockets, based on one research.

    Women’s fertility and personal devices

    Similar to men's fertility, women's fertility can also be impacted by the usage of personal devices and gadgets. There is still ongoing research in this area, but some studies suggest that exposure to electromagnetic radiation (EMR) from cell phones, laptops, and other personal electronic devices may have negative effects on female fertility.  

    One study published in the journal Fertility and Sterility found that women who kept their cell phones near their abdomen had reduced ovarian reserve, a term used to describe the number of eggs available for fertilization. Another study conducted by the University of California, San Francisco found that women who used laptops on their laps had decreased fertility, likely due to the heat generated by the device.

    Additionally, exposure to blue light emitted by electronic devices can interfere with circadian rhythms, which can disrupt the hormonal balance needed for fertility. Blue light suppresses the production of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep and wakefulness, and can also disrupt the production of other hormones involved in the menstrual cycle.

    It's important to note that while the research on the impact of personal devices on female fertility is still in its early stages, it's a good idea to limit exposure to EMR and blue light when trying to conceive. This can be done by avoiding carrying cell phones in pockets, using a headset or speakerphone when making calls, limiting laptop use on laps, and avoiding screen time before bedtime.

    Tips on reducing the amount of usage of daily devices.

    1. There are settings in our smartphones to monitor screen time (this limits the amount of time of radiation directed to you)
    2. Turn off all the electronics at a specific time of the day when you’re not going to use them.
    3. Leave all the electronics out of the room you sleep in because in case you don’t turn them off, they would still emit radiation to your body. 

    In conclusion, while personal devices are an essential part of modern life, it's crucial to consider their potential impact on fertility. By being mindful of our device usage and limiting exposure to EMFs, we can help protect our reproductive health.



    1- The Times of India. (2021, January 17). Late-night use of gadgets can cause male infertility: Study - times of India. The Times of India. Retrieved February 10, 2023, from
    2- Does cell phone radiation affect men's fertility? Environmental Working Group. (2023, February 10). Retrieved February 10, 2023, from,Overview,with%20%E2%80%9Chigh%E2%80%9D%20cell%20usage.
    3- Kennard, J. (2022, February 4). Can your laptop cause male infertility? Verywell Health. Retrieved February 10, 2023, from,affect%20the%20production%20of%20sperm.
    4- RamptonProductivityFriday, J. (2020, August 7). 10 strategies for reducing your screen time. Calendar. Retrieved February 10, 2023, from 
    Kennard, J. (2022, February 4). Can your laptop cause male infertility? Verywell Health. Retrieved February 10, 2023, from,affect%20the%20production%20of%20sperm.
    5- How exposure to cell phones and other technology affects reproductive health. Environmental Working Group. (n.d.). Retrieved February 10, 2023, from,the%20risk%20for%20female%20infertility.

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