The technology has proliferated every sphere of our lives. From television to cell phones and our very own mobile workstations – the laptops. Even with the introduction of slim and light weight iPads and Phablets, laptops remain the favorite! It is voraciously used by men, women and children – from school going to business executives and stay-at-home and working mums. You might have often felt envious about the laptop resting cozily in the lap of your husband whilst you yearned for his attention! Now since laptops have become indispensable, here’s a bit of news for the future parents! Laptops have been found to hamper reproductive abilities in humans.
Up till now you enjoyed the ease to work on the laptops with adjustable screen and portability at the bed or sofa. But who knew that such comfort may even have serious drawbacks? FERTILITY is one such consequence! Apart from lifestyle and stress, laptop use is a leading cause for infertility in men. Statistics indicate a rise in family planning problems particularly pertaining to male infertility.
Is Men’s Fertility Affected By Laptop Heat?
Considering the anatomy of males, scrotum, one of the main reproductive organs is situated behind the penis. This is a pouch like organ hanging from the body containing testicles, which produce and contain sperms. The normal temperature of scrotum is approx. 4°C cooler than the rest of the body. This is because the sperms need cooler temperature to thrive and when exposed to heat can have following effects:
- poor sperm motility; remember motility or the ability to swim is required for sperms to travel quickly through the vagina and reach eggs
- decrease in sperm production
- drop in sperm concentration
- general increase in scrotal temperature
Does Laptop Heat Affect Male Fertility?
Quotes Webmd.com, “balancing laptop computers on the lap raises the scrotum’s temperature, say researchers including Yefim Sheynkin, MD, FACS, of the urology department at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.” All sources of heat are potentially dangerous for sperms. These include hot baths, spa and saunas and hot water bags. However the most frequent source remains the laptop. Number one, due to the direct exposure of heat to the reproductive organs and secondly due to the posture adopted while working on laptops.
The laptops tend to heat up after certain period of use, and this temperature could rise up to 40°C. Working on laptops also requires balancing them on the laps. This means tightly shut thighs and direct exposure to heat in groin region. Studies indicate these lead to an increase in the scrotal temperature by 2.7°C. It must be noted that a mere increase of 1°C in scrotal temperature may affect the fertility. See, the testes containing sperm hang out for the reason! To remain cooler!
Further Effects Of Laptop Heat
Some researchers suggest chucking the laptops from the laps since the high heat from laptop may bring changes in the shape of sperms, rendering conception difficult.
There is a new research probing the effect of Wifi on sperms, the results indicate that after four hours of exposure to laptop WiFi, the motility of the sperms was affected. Alarmingly, the results were also indicative of changes in genetic coding of the sperms. Put simply, the enzymes behind producing sperms are way too sensitive to heat. Quotes the bbc.com, ‘UK fertility expert Dr Allan Pacey, senior lecturer in andrology at the University of Sheffield, said: “The study is very well conducted, but we should be cautious about what it may infer about the fertility of men who regularly use laptops with wi-fi on their laps.”
What Can Be Done?
Try to keep your man cooler!
- Encourage him to wear loose fitting breathable clothes, bidding adieu to macho underpants and tight jeans
- Try working on a table and chair, will help the posture as well
- If your man suffers from fever, make sure he gets the right treatment promptly as this kind of elevated temperature too impacts fertility
- Encourage him to lose weight.Obese men are more likely to produce heat in their private regions. The scrotum contains unwanted layer of fat cells which easily increases the temperature, hurting the sperm quality
- Get him a cool laptop table with fan. It cheap, portable and keeps both the laptop and the user cool!
- Always insist to use a pillow between the laptop and the legs when working from the bed
Does Laptop Heat Affect Female Fertility?
Women on the other hand, have an upper hand when it comes to heat and fertility. Unlike men, the reproductive organ (ovaries) are situated inside a woman’s body and is not susceptible to external heat. Women willingly get hold of hot water bags to get rid of abdominal cramping or menstrual pain.
The research is rather scarce but one study conducted decades ago at the University of Manchester related low frequency radiation to irregularities in menstrual cycle. These included increase in stress and cramps. Irregular menses may contribute towards infertility. Therefore, whilst women may not be hurt by the heat but the radiation from the laptops. It’s best to go easy on laptops!
Work and career can often be a cause for delay in family planning, but you must ensure that it does not rob you of your ability to plan a family.