Laptops And Male Fertility
Technology Is Part Of Life And It's Here To Stay
Today we pay little attention to the high level of technology that surrounds us in our world. We've become accustomed to seeing people walking down the street with a cell phone attached to their ear, pocket or belt and either pulling a computer in a case with wheels, or carrying it in a backpack on the train. It's everywhere.
What is becoming more evident as time goes on is the effect technology may be having upon male fertility. Unwittingly, men who use laptops and cell phones could be damaging their ability to procreate.
Using Your Lap For A Table Could Make You Infertile
Laptop computers are used widely today. Seeing a man with a laptop perched upon his legs is not an uncommon sight. However, balancing the computer on the lap is known to increase the temperature of the scrotum and this increase in heat has a negative effect upon sperm production.
The State University of New York's findings, which appear in Human Reproduction, state: Teenage boys and young men may consider limiting their use of laptop computers on their laps.
There's Research To Prove It
Lead researcher Dr. Yefim Sheynkin said: "Laptops can reach internal operating temperatures of over 70 degrees centigrade. They are frequently positioned close to the scrotum and, as well as being capable of producing direct local heat, they require the user to sit with his thighs close together to balance the machine, which traps the scrotum between the thighs."
Twenty-nine healthy male volunteers aged 21 to 35 took part in the research project. Temperature changes to the scrotum were recorded during laptop use and different seating positions over one hour time periods. It was found that just sitting with the thighs together, a necessary posture to balance a computer on the lap caused scrotal temperatures to rise by 2.1 degrees centigrade. When the participants of the study used a laptop in the sitting posture with the thighs together, the average scrotal temperatures increased by 2.6 degrees on the left scrotum and 2.8 degrees on the right.
Dr. Sheynkin said: "The body needs to maintain a proper testicular temperature for normal sperm production and development (spermatogenesis). We don't know the exact frequency and time of heat exposure capable of producing reversible or irreversible changes in spermatogenesis, but previous studies suggest that 1 degree centigrade above the baseline is the possible minimal thermal gradient." He said that although any changes might be reversible, repetitive use of a laptop in this way might cause permanent damage.
More Proof From Other Sources
Dr. Allan Pacey, senior lecturer in Andrology at the University Of Sheffield, England, and speaking on behalf of the British Fertility Society said: "We already know that increasing the temperature of the testicles can affect sperm production. It is worrying that having a laptop on your knees for only an hour can increase the temperature of the scrotum so significantly. Men who use laptops regularly should be very careful. "
Further research is needed in order to determine the extent of the risk to male fertility with the use of laptop computers.