Laptops and fertility in men

June 17, 2016

Laptop computers have become indispensable today especially for the tech-savvy generation. Laptops are so called because they are comfortably used on the laps. Newer versions are more sophisticated, lighter in weight with an adjustable display.

Well, for men, ‘laps’ may not be the best place for their ‘laptops’! It is far better to use it keeping it on a desk especially if a man wants to have a child in the near future.  Keeping a laptop on his lap may have negative effects on his fertility.

Sperm is the male counterpart of the egg in females. Sperms are produced in the testicles, located in the scrotum. The scrotum is suspended from the body and is approximately 4 degrees cooler than the rest of the body. This lower temperature is optimal for sperm production and maturation. Sperms are motile; once ejaculated into the female vagina, they travel through the fallopian tube, where they meet the egg and fertilize it. A successfully fertilized egg results in an embryo that implants in the uterus to grow into a foetus.

The temperature of most laptop bottoms increase when in use. They could reach temperatures from 88 degrees Fahrenheit (31 degrees Celsius) to as high as 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius) in less than an hour. Recent studies have shown that laptops, if used for extended periods while kept on the lap, can increase the temperature of the testicles. The increased temperature of the testicles may have an adverse effect on the production of sperm. The sperms can develop molecular damage and low motility, which means that they will not be able to travel up the fallopian tubes to fertilize the egg. In addition, there are studies that associate the use of wi-fi with the laptop with an adverse effect on sperm health.

While large epidemiological studies have not been done to verify these initial findings, it would be sensible to avoid any potential ill effects that may be caused by using your laptop on your lap for extended periods.

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