Is There a Link Between The Use of a Laptop and Male Infertility?

Every time a man ejaculates, up to 300 million sperm cells are pushed out of his testes. This is considered a normal part of a man’s live and is essential for conceiving successfully. Unfortunately, the sperm count of a man is not the only aspect that should be taken into consideration when a man wants to conceive. The National Infertility Association explains that, while sperm count is of vital importance, other elements such as motility, velocity, morphology and volume should also be taken into consideration when determining whether a man is fertile or infertile. It is the combination of all of these elements that helps sperm reach and attach to eggs in the female body, which then makes the woman fall pregnant.

Infertility Among Men

Link Between The Use Of A Laptop and Male Infertility

Unfortunately, every now and then one of the elements that are important in determining how fertile a man gets damages or loses its effectiveness. When this happens, such as when a man’s sperm count drops to under 40 million cells per ejaculation, the man is at risk of becoming infertile, thus he would not be able to conceive successfully. Medical News Today reports that one in five cases where a couple is unable to fall pregnant, the cause lies with the man only. They also report that as much as 40% of the time, the cause can lie with both the man and the woman. If either one is infertile, then conceiving will not be successful until the problem has been diagnosed and treated.

Mayo Clinic reports that as much as 15% of couples within the United States are infertile. They continue to explain that a couple is considered infertile when they are unable to fall pregnant after having unprotected sex during the course of an entire year – without any types of contraception being used, such as birth control pills. They do continue to report that numerous types of therapies are available in order to treat the condition safely, thus increasing the chance of a couple conceiving successfully.

Laptop Use and Infertility

Due to a large number of couples trying to conceive without any success, medical researchers are constantly looking at elements in our daily lives that can have a negative impact on our fertility. A medical study recently completed a trial in order to determine whether laptop use may have any significant impact on male fertility. This study was conducted due to the heat that a laptop gives off at its bottom and the fact that we tend to sit with our laptops directly on our laps, which means the heat from the laptop warms the genital area. The study focused on this specific fact – in order to determine whether laptop use on our laps do, in fact, cause a temperature rise in the genital area and whether this may have any kind of impact on fertility.

Laptop Use and Infertility

The study was conducted at the State University of New York in Stony Brook. A total of 29 healthy men participated in the study and the study was completed in the university’s hospital. All participants were regular laptop users. All participants were included in the same group. The temperature of the scrotum was monitored during a total of three 60-minute laptop usage sessions. Each participant had to use their laptop in a very specific position for a complete hour, after which the left and right scrotal temperature were measured and recorded. The study was also divided into three sessions:

  • During the first session, participants were asked to use their laptop consistently for a total of 60 minutes in a sitting position, with their legs closely together.
  • During the second session, participants were asked to use their laptop consistently with a lap pad for a total of 60 minutes in the same position as the first session.
  • During the third and final session, participants was asked to use their laptop consistently for a total of 60 minutes with their legs 70 degrees apart, accompanies by a lap pad underneath their laptops.

A temperature rises in the scrotal area of 1 degree Celsius was considered potentially harmful to fertility. During the first session, a temperature rise was found to occur within the first 11 minutes. During the second session within 14 minutes and during the third session 28 minutes. Due to the fact that men are often recommended to avoid warm baths and to keep themselves cold when they are told they have fertility problems, this study provided evidence that a laptop may actually be harmful for male fertility when used on the lap.
In order to avoid this problem from occurring, it is recommended to rather place a laptop on a desk rather than directly on the lap, or to sit with your legs apart and the laptop in front of you, instead of on your lap. It is also advised that wearing boxers over your briefs may help decrease the temperature-effect a laptop has on your scrotum.

Conclusion

When a man finds out he is infertile, the first step is to consider his lifestyle choices and habits. This usually helps a doctor determine if the man’s lifestyle is interfering with his fertility. If no problems are found, the doctor will continue to search for medical conditions that may affect his fertility. Studies have now found that the use of a laptop may also contribute towards male infertility due to the elevated temperature they cause in the genital area.

References

  • http://www.resolve.org/about-infertility/male-workup/the-semen-analysis.html
  • http://www.ams.sunysb.edu/~hahn/psfile/laptop.pdf