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Laptops Slow Sperm Down, Increase DNA Damage

Men, if you use a laptop on your lap, get it up on a table!

A new study, reported in the journal Fertility and Sterility, has found that when sperm samples were placed under a laptop connected to the internet via Wi-Fi, they weren't functioning as well four hours later.

Researchers in Argentina used semen samples from 29 healthy men, each of which was divided into two samples. One sample was exposed to an internet-connected laptop by Wi-Fi for four hours, while the other was used as a control, kept in identical conditions without exposure to the laptop.

The scientists found that with the sperm exposed to the laptop, there were significant decreases in sperm motility and increases in sperm DNA fragmentation. With the exposed sperm, 25 percent were no longer swimming around, compared to 14 percent from the sperm samples stored at the same temperature away from the computer. Also, the sperm exposed to the laptop showed three times more DNA damage than the comparison sperm. The researchers say electromagnetic radiation is the cause.

"We speculate that keeping a laptop connected wirelessly to the internet on the lap near the testes may result in decreased male fertility," the authors wrote. "Further in vitro and in vivo studies are needed to prove this contention."

This is not the first study on laptops and male fertility. Others have focused on the heat generated by the computer, which is not good for male fertility. A 2010 study published in Fertilty and Sterility found that laptops release warmth that can overheat testicles within 15 minutes. The heat also worked its way through lap pads, even though men rarely felt the increase.

For more information on protecting male fertility, read Fertility Boosters for Men.


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