VERIFY: Do laptops cause infertility in men?
For some reason when a couple has problems conceiving, scrutiny almost always immediately falls to the woman. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, fertility issues may just as often be linked to the man.
But have you heard that laptops can reduce a man’s sperm count? The theory has made the rounds of social media over the last few years, but is it really true?
Let’s Verify it, shall we?
Thirty-year-old Imre Balazs heard the theory too and wanted to know if he should be concerned. When he’s not banging out tunes with his Amherst-based country band Hard Drive, he’s banging on the keys of his laptop.
“I’m on Netflix quite often. And then there’s eBay, Craigslist. And I’m on that I’d say two to three hours a day,” Imre confessed.
So he headed with us to University Hospitals to speak with Dr. Kiranpreet Khurana, a urologist specializing in reproductive issues.
“More often than not I have my laptop in my groin area for extended periods of time and it does heat up. How dangerous is that,” Imre asked.
“We know that the laptop will increase scrotal temperature by 2 to 3 degrees. And the scrotum is built in a way where it is supposed to be lower by 2 to 4 degrees,” Dr. Khurana explained.
Because when a scrotum’s hot, the sperm aren’t smiling. In fact, many will swim slower and have less strength to fertilize an egg.
And as we learned, even a small spike in heat can have a big impact. “It can range anywhere from no sperm to a decrease of 50% of sperm production,” Dr. Khurana explained.
And it doesn’t matter how much you use the laptop either. A 2010 study with 29 healthy men ages 21-35 showed no matter if your legs are together or apart, or even if you are using a lap tray, the temperature down there is going up.
But is the heat of a laptop actually enough to impair fertility? Well, there’s never been a study which directly makes that link, but you can certainly make that inference.
“If you are trying to have a child, don’t take chances. Use your laptop on a desk,” said Dr. Khurana.
And there’s something else that the doctor says may slow down Imre’s swimmers: sweating it up on that drum seat for hours at a time. But Imre says he’s not giving that up. As for his laptop?
“So you heard everything the doctor has to say. What’s your take? Does the laptop affect sperm count and fertility or not?”
“I believe it does, but it’s not a big deal to me. When it comes time and I meet a nice lady, then I’ll take that into consideration. But until then I’m going to enjoy myself,” Imre said.
So we’ll say this is verified.
But if you are wondering, if laptops affect a woman’s chances at conceiving? The answer is no, their reproductive organs are protected inside the body.
There are some additional factors that can affect fertility. Dr. Kiranpreet Khurana explains below:
If you have something you’d like us to look into for Verify — email us! firstname.lastname@example.org
PHOTOS: Check out our gallery of photos that we put together on this story:
(© 2017 WKYC)