Myth of the Month
Have you ever heard that men can become infertile from using a laptop on their lap? If you have and thought it sounded like an old wives’ tale or medical myth, think again.
Researchers at the State University of New York at Stony Brook conducted a study to find out just what impact a laptop can have on a male’s lap. The results are alarming, but not surprising. There is a direct correlation between laptop use and scrotum temperature. Makes sense, right? The longer you use a laptop, the hotter it gets. If it’s on your lap, then the hotter your lap will get.
But hot laptops have been found to increase the temperature of the scrotum by 35 degrees. That’s 35 degrees above the average body temperature of 98.6 degrees. This hot temperature usually isn’t uncomfortable but the exposure can still be harmful.
Previous research has found that even a slight increase in the temperature of the scrotum can damage sperm, and it only takes 10-15 minutes of laptop use for temperatures to rise to damaging levels.
While it can’t be said definitively that laptop use causes infertility in men, a little common sense can go a long way to prevent any potential harm from laptop use for both men and women. If you’re planning to plop down with your laptop for a while, find a table or desk you can place it on instead of directly on your lap. Even placing it on a pillow on your lap can raise the temperature to damaging levels. There are several products on the market now for cooling down your laptop and preventing overheating or direct contact with skin, and they’re affordable, too.
But if all of that sounds inconvenient to you, maybe it’s just time to switch to a tablet!