Men may put their fertility in danger by resting a laptop on their laps. While the evidence is mixed, some studies have linked both the heat exposure and electromagnetic frequencies produced by laptops to a reduction in reproductive health.
Keep reading to learn what scientists have discovered about the link between laptop use and male infertility, and how to reduce the risk.
Do Laptops Cause Infertility In Men?
Research shows that exposure to heat and EMFs (electromagnetic fields) that occurs when laptops are placed on men’s laps or thighs may negatively impact the testicles’ ability to produce sperm, and lower sperm quality as well.
Let’s take a closer look at each of these factors.
One study from 2005 found that heat from a laptop could increase the temperature of the scrotum. (1) This is significant because the scrotum plays a vital part in keeping the temperature of the testicles below body temperature.
Because sperm production takes place in the testicles, if the testicles get too hot, they produce fewer sperm, and the quality of the sperm is reduced as well.
The study found that laptop heat increased the temperature of the scrotum up to 5°F (2.8°C ). Although this may not seem like a lot, it’s actually significant because the testicles work optimally when temperatures are 2-3.5°F (1-2°C ) below body temperature.
See Also: Is Your Underwear Decreasing Your Sperm Count?
An electromagnetic field (EMF) is an invisible range of waves that is created by the combination of electricity and magnetism. EMFs can be generated by microwave ovens, laptops or cell phones.
EMFs with higher frequencies (for example X-rays) are known to increase the chances for developing cancer risk by altering cell DNA. Concern has also been raised about the possibility that EMFs may have a negative impact on sperm quality.
One study looked at the effects that wi-fi has on sperm. Wireless devices give off electromagnetic radiation in the low-gigahertz frequency, which is considered potentially dangerous.
Researchers found that semen exposed to Wi-Fi caused damage to sperm DNA and reduced sperm motility. (2)
Another study showed that Wi-Fi exposure can be harmful to the testicles. This could potentially result in a number of problems, including:
- Reduced sperm count
- Abnormal sperm morphology
- Poor sperm motility
- Sperm DNA fragmentation
- Increased risk for genetic mutations
- Interference of hormone production
How Do Laptops Affect Male Fertility?
It is not clear as to what extent that laptops may impact male fertility. Although there are some studies that show heat and EMFs can affect scrotal temperature, as well as sperm count and quality, further research is required to establish a definitive link between the use of laptops and male infertility.
Even so, research indicates that the greater amount of time using a laptop, and the closer the exposure to the testicles, the higher the chances of harm to your sperm and fertility. However, there are some steps you can take to minimize your risk if you are a man who regularly uses a laptop on your lap.
- Keep your legs apart and avoid crossing your legs.
- Reduce the amount of time you have your laptop on your lap.
- Place your laptop on a desk or table whenever possible.
Jacob Rastani is the editor in chief of The Sperm Count Report, and is in charge of reviewing all editorial content for the website, social media, and video platforms. He has over 12 years experience as a senior editor national news websites, where he oversaw production of content relating to health and fitness, medical news, medicine, and fertility and reproductive health.