The news of the week in the reproductive world is that laptops can negatively impact male fertility. This is true even when a cooling pad is used; and this finding has been capturing the headlines this week. This is a significant potential consequence of prolonged laptop use. We live in an increasingly busy and mobile world where more and more people rely on mobile computing to stay productive anytime and anywhere. Unfortunately, as convenient as laptops may be when it comes to portable computing, there are also some down sides.Male Infertility
There are important biological reasons why the testes are stored in the scrotum–outside of the body. Sperm production requires a lower temperature than the standard internal body temp. The system of pipes and tubes, called the seminiferous tubules, is the site where sperm cells are produced. High temperatures can impair the maturation process in these tubules. As a result, the sperm cells are either reduced in number or in efficacy. In some cases, the increased heat impairs the motility of sperm cells or results in the production of sperm cells with abnormal shapes.
Tech gadgets generate a significant amount of heat–a remarkable amount of heat in some cases. There are even Android and iPhone apps specifically designed to max the processor and heat the smartphone up to use as a hand warmer in colder climates. A recent study found that the temperature generated by placing a laptop on your lap–even when using a laptop cooling pad–results in temps that can impact male fertility.
Men looking forward to fathering children may want to think twice about using a laptop on their lap. Men should avoid exposing their genitals to high temperature elevations and should be extra cautious if fertility is already a problem.
These studies highlight the fact that there are many environmental insults, which can impact on reproductive function in men. Long distance bicycle riders would narrow saddle seats have been found to have similar problems. For couples contemplating fertility treatments, male partner should be especially tuned in to environmental factors which can impair sperm function. In many cases use of antioxidant formulation can be helpful in supporting the body’s defense against these environmental insults.