Does Laptop Use Cause Infertility? It Depends on Your Gender

couple laptops fertility If you or your partner spend a lot of time with your laptop planted firmly on your midsection, you may be wondering if you're doing any damage. This popular practice gets called into question particularly when couples are trying to conceive and not having success, leaving many to wonder if there's a connection between laptops and infertility.

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So does this theory have any merit or is it merely a myth? It turns out the answer depends on your gender.

Nicole Galan, RN, of Heathline.com and author of The EVERYTHING Fertility Book, explains how this technology impacts women:

Good news, ladies! There is no scientific evidence that using a laptop on your lap will have any effect on your fertility or your health. Neither the heat emitted from the laptop, nor the Wi-Fi signaling will have any impact on your ability to get pregnant.

While that's great for women, things are a bit less encouraging for men. 

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A 2005 study showed that laptop users increase scrotal temperatures by almost 3 degrees Celsius during a 60-minute session. Brian Norouzi, MD, a board certified urologist in Orange, California, explains how this affects fertility:

"It has been long thought that this increase in temperature can lead to infertility, and animal studies have suggested a rise of only 1.5 degrees Celsius may cause this change," he notes. "It has also been demonstrated that men with repeated hot tub exposure may have reduced fertility potential."

As if that weren't enough to make you ask your mate to move his laptop to the table, a 2012 study in Fertility and Sterility noted that sperm outside of the body placed near a Wi-Fi-connected computer for four hours had lower motility, meaning they did not swim as fast.

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"Another 2015 study done on rats showed that sperm quantity and quality were affected by exposure to Wi-Fi wavelengths for an hour a day for two months, and that longer exposures led to more changes," Norouzi points out. "In conclusion, there are some concerns that laptop usage and modern electronics might be responsible for some of the changes being seen in male fertility potential in modern times."

Before you panic and bring all your devices to an electronics recycling depot, Norouzi says further studies on humans need to be conducted, as most have been done strictly on animals so far.

What happens once you conceive? Should you ban your computer completely? Galan shares her thoughts:

Even when pregnant, it is safe to use your laptop on your lap, though it may be more difficult to balance. You’ll want to keep the computer on your lap and not on your belly; the stretched-out skin is more sensitive and may be irritated by the heat.

So it looks like ladies can feel free to type away, while their partners may want to keep those laptops at a desk if they're hoping to start or expand their family.

 

Image via Photographee.eu/Shutterstock

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