Your Laptop Could Be Toasting Your Testicles
Researchers led by Dr. Yefim Sheynkin, a urologist at State University of New York at Stony Brook, issued the warning after hooking thermometers to the scrotums of 29 young men who were sitting with a computer on their lap. They found that the men's testicles overheated quickly.
In the report published in the journal Fertility and Sterility, the researchers revealed that even those who used laptop pads still overheated their scrotums within 10 minutes. After an hour sitting with a portable computer on their lap, the men's testicle temperature rose by up to 2.5 C.
Sitting with their legs further apart is a natural way for men to keep the nether regions at an ideal temperature. Balancing a laptop on their knees, however, requires them to sit still with their legs closed.
"Millions and millions of men are using laptops now, especially those in the reproductive age range...Within 10 or 15 minutes their scrotal temperature is already above what we consider safe, but they don't feel it," says Dr. Sheynkin.
While Sheynkin acknowledged that his team's research did not offer bulletproof evidence that laptops impact men's fertility, earlier studies revealed that rising the temperature of the scrotum by one degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) can already damage sperm.
Several years ago, Suzanne Kavic, MD, director of the division of reproductive endocrinology at Loyola University Health System also sounded the alarm on the ill effects of excessive laptop use on sperm. According to her, laptops generate enough heat that hinders healthy sperm production, making conception problematic down the road.
One in six couples in the U.S. have conception problems and half the time it's the man who is infertile. Other factors such as nutrition and drug use also play a role in men's reproductive health.
Sheynkin, however, debunked the myth that tight jeans and briefs are risk factors. "Clothes should not significantly change scrotal temperature, because you are moving around," he said.
And cell phones, too
Another study also published in Fertility and Sterility revealed that stashing a cell phone in a pocket or clipping it to the belt-while the phone is on talk mode and the owner is using an earpiece-also harms the sperm. The radiofrequency electronic waves emitted by a mobile phone cranked up the levels of free radicals in sperm samples of healthy men and reduced sperm count.
To help ensure that men's sperm are in tip-top shape for procreation, researchers advise that while in use, the laptop and cell phone must be placed away from the family jewels.
Kavic also recommended the following for men who look forward to the pitter patter of little feet:
-Avoid hot tubs.
-Ditch the tight briefs and wear boxer shorts instead.
-Avoid exercise that can expose the nether regions to heat or trauma.
-Eat nutritious food and take multivitamins.
-Get eight hours of sleep at night.
-Stay hydrated and limit caffeine intake to two cups per day.
-Avoid drugs and excessive alcohol intake.
-Minimize toxin exposure.
-Adopt stress reduction techniques like yoga.