Did you know that using your laptop on your knees or legs can cause fertility problems in men? Find out why this happens and what the effects of heat on your sperm are.
- Studies confirm that having a laptop on your lap is bad for men’s reproductive health.
- The testicles tend to become dangerously hot.
- Main diseases of the testicles and their symptoms
If you regularly work with your laptop, and you use it every day either for leisure to hang out or for work reasons, it is quite likely that at some point or other you have wondered if, in fact, it is totally safe to place it on top of your legs. Especially if you are male and you plan to have children in the near future.
In the same way that, for example, you wondered if having your mobile phone in your pants pocket negatively affected your health; specifically, to the health of your sperm and more specifically, to fertility.
The truth is that as it was pointed out in 2010 in a study, the truth is that it is not advisable to place the laptop on your lap, especially if you are a man and do it regularly.
Why? According to director of the afore mentioned study, sitting with a laptop on your legs causes the testicles to be above the temperature considered normal, in a way that can negatively affect the quality of sperm.
According to the study, a one degree centigrade increase in scrotum temperature is enough to damage sperm, so that continued use of the laptop on the lap can contribute to reproductive problems in men, mainly because “the scrotum does not have time to cool down. As a consequence, it can generate a decrease in the number of sperm and become much slower, making fertilization difficult.
What does the study published in Fertility and Sterility in 2010 say?
To reach this conclusion, a total of 29 young people participated in the study published in 2010. In it, to assess whether or not the heat caused by the laptop affected the fertility of the participants, they placed thermometers connected to their scrotum.
The scrotums were found to overheat rapidly, even though the youths wore pads on their knees, under the laptop. In fact, after just 10-15 minutes of using the laptop, the scrotum temperature was above what is medically considered safe. Indeed, this effect (overheating) is not physically felt.
Furthermore, it was found that, after one hour of maintaining this position, the temperature of the testicles had increased by 2.5 degrees Celsius.
Why does the heat from the laptop affect the quality of the sperm?
We must bear in mind that, under normal circumstances, the testicles are outside the body, which allows the sperm to develop normally, since a lower temperature is needed for its production. This is why the testicles are outside the body: it helps them stay a few degrees cooler.
In this way, heating the scrotum by more than one degree centigrade (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) is known to be enough to damage sperm .
And although it cannot be guaranteed that the heat of laptops on the legs can cause infertility in men, it is known for sure that their frequent use can contribute to reproductive problems in men, since the scrotum does not have time to cool down and return to a temperature considered normal.
That is, it is considered that this scrotal hyperthermia does not cause a permanent negative effect, but it is true that it can take months to disappear.
Is it also not safe to use a pillow or cushion under the laptop?
As was shown in the aforementioned study, although the use of a pillow or a cushion under the laptop can provide a certain feeling of “security”, since it makes it appear that the heat transmitted is lower, the reality is quite different.
In the words of the experts, there is “a false sense of security”, since just 30 minutes after starting to use the laptop, the testicles begin to overheat.