Researchers claim hot laptops could affect men's sperm quality

Researchers claim hot laptops could affect men's sperm quality

Summary: It's always been something of an urban legend that men leaving a scorching notebook computer on their lap were damaging their sperm, but new research suggests that such conjecture has a basis in scientific fact.

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It's always been something of an urban legend that men leaving a scorching notebook computer on their lap were damaging their sperm, but new research suggests that such conjecture has a basis in scientific fact.

According to a new report in the journal Fertility and Sterility, researchers found that 29 male test subjects who used a laptop while holding it on their knees raised the temperature of their scrotums to an unsafe level within 15 minutes -- even when their laps were "protected" by a pad covering them. Pads weren't effective at cooling testicles because the biggest impact was related to the legs being kept together in order to balance the laptop on the knees. A urologist leading the study says that an increase in scrotal temperature of roughly two degrees Fahrenheit is enough to impact sperm quality.

So while there's no direct link established yet between one's sperm count and laptop use, there appears to be a indirect connection with men using a portable PC, their scrotums overheating, and such overheating being sufficient to damage sperm. It's at least something to think about if you're a heavy laptop user and you'll trying to conceive a child: Maybe you want to rest the computer on a desk more often.

One urban legend that the study appears to have put to rest, however, is that the belief that wearing tight pants and underwear affects sperm quality. So feel free to sport those snug jeans and tidy-whities -- just don't place a running laptop on top of them.

[Via Reuters]

Topics: CXO, Hardware, Laptops, Mobility

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11 comments
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  • OUCH, THAT'S HOT!!!

    I wonder if there was such a thing as "caveman journalism" where you had cavemen sharing the claims of "cavemen researchers." You know, "Cavemen Researchers Claim Sitting Too Close to Hot Camp Fires Could Affect Cavemen's Sperm Quality!"<br><br>Yeah, that was dumb but I thought I would try for "funny," anyway. *sigh*<br><br>Seriously, though, these studies make me wonder what other types of scenarios would raise the temperature of a scrotum by 2 degrees and affect sperm quality. Hot tub (time machine)? Hot bath? Hot shower? Exercising? Car seat warmers? Placing a hot drink between your legs at a cold football game? Inadvertently spilling coffee between your legs at the McDonald's drive-thru? Laying too close to a fireplace naked? (I don't do that last one, but I'm just saying...) And so on and so forth.<br><br>So, yeah. At that rate, what *doesn't* affect sperm count/quality? Perhaps I'm off on this one, but maybe there is innovation to be had in the space of scrotum cooling or something; who knows. lol.<br><br>-Stephen
    StephenChapman
  • RE: Researchers claim hot laptops could affect men's sperm quality

    OK, so a little scrotum heat with ruin sperm in 15 minute.
    So how much cooling, and for how long, will restore it?
    Agnostic_OS
  • RE: Researchers claim hot laptops could affect men's sperm quality

    I also understand that lap dances may damage a male's sperm count as well. I hear that leading researchers in this field are asking for volunteers to test this theory and that contributing ZDNet blogger, Violet Blue, will report the finding's results.
    kenosha77a
  • One way to stealthily stonewall future dependents.

    "Gee honey, I know you want to have kids but I don't have any idea why my sperm count is so low," spoken with computer on lap while wearing briefs after a 30 minute stint in the hot tub.
    Hatestone Johnson
  • What? Oh this is not good.

    Get yourself a Netbook, go forth and multiply.
    Dietrich T. Schmitz, ~ Your Linux Advocate
  • Small wonder fertility clinics are doing a booming business

    It's been known for some time that prolonged hot tub use messes up your sperm.

    By the way Agnostic_OS, once your sperm are damaged, you can't fix them; you can only get rid of them. And since they remain for roughly 6 weeks, you need to be manually removing them for that long before engaging in serious procreation.

    Also, stay away from radioactive substances & other forms of ionizing radiation, don't smoke, lose the weight (fat cells manufacture estrogen), eat a fully nutritious diet, and consume alcohol in very moderate amounts, if at all.

    If you're looking to have kids, more often isn't better. Every other day or so gets your sperm count higher and increases your chances for success. Also, bringing your wife to a real climax increases the chance for ovulation. So no faking on her part if she's serious; foreplay to get her as hot and bothered as possible is the way to go.

    Remember, don't be cruel to those poor little sperms of yours. They most emphatically don't want to see the bright lights of a lab, or the cold of that test tube!
    Dr_Zinj
    • Um, WTF are you talking about?!?

      @Dr_Zinj<br>"And since they remain for roughly 6 weeks, you need to be manually removing them for that long before engaging in serious procreation."<br><br>Don't be ridiculous. This has NO basis in biological fact. Sperm are constantly engaging in turn over, and while it may take weeks to clear a PARTICULAR batch, that batch becomes a smaller and smaller percentage of the likely ejaculate every day. And since one of the first things that gets affected in heat damage is sperm motility, the likelihood that heat damaged sperm will result in anything important is negligible.<br><br>"Also, bringing your wife to a real climax increases the chance for ovulation. So no faking on her part if she's serious; foreplay to get her as hot and bothered as possible is the way to go."<br><br>Talk about misinformation!!! Orgasms have NOTHING to do with ovulation, and there is not a single iota of data to support his absurd claim. Ovulation is triggered by an LH/FSH surge, and has nothing to do with either normal levels of estrogen OR orgasm.

      Given all the above, I don't see you as being a particularly great source for sex tips, either.<br><br>With your habit of posting on pseudo science on science boards, you are like the Dr Oz of ZDNet.
      DeusXMachina
  • This phenomenom is called "local warming"

    The Investor Yossi Vardi has talked about it in a TED talk. Here the link:

    http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/yossi_vardi_fights_local_warming.html

    Have fun and take care!
    Harald
    harald.battran
  • Pay less attention to the computer...

    If I want to conceive a child, then I have to pay less attention to my laptop and start give more attention to my wife; pretty obvious, isn't it? <br><br>I won't be able conceive a child with the help of my laptop, for sure.
    Kuntua
  • RE: Researchers claim hot laptops could affect men's sperm quality

    @Kuntua
    there is one way I could think of,which would be to place laptop between pillow & headboard then you could watch a porno to help you get in the mood while having sex,were this not to work a reversal of roles wih the wife watching might be of more help... but if it gets to that stage why bother......
    ronangel
  • RE: Researchers claim hot laptops could affect men's sperm quality

    Now you tell me. If i had known that, I could have sent
    several laptops to Obama's father.

    On a more serious note;
    what if Obama's mother had been pro abortion like Obama is?
    askmelea@...