Doctor warns that laptop heat may hurt sperm activity

If you are male and like using your laptop on the go, take note.

A doctor has warned that heat from laptops may affect sperm health.

Previously, a study in medical journal Fertility and Sterility - based on the work of researchers in Argentina - have reported that radiation from wifi-enabled laptops have shown a decrease in sperm movement and damage to sperm DNA. This was done on 29 collected sperm samples, and not on sperm in the testes per se.

Dr Clarence Yeo Sze Kin, a doctor at the Singapore Men’s Health Clinic, told Shin Min Daily News that at the moment, while there is no scientific study that can prove without a doubt that radiation from laptops is causing damage to the male reproductive organ, he said that heat from the laptop may have an effect.

“The male reproductive organ is more suited to an environment that is 1°C lower than the body temperature. If it gets too hot, it may affect sperm activity and cause a certain level of damage,” he said.

Dr Yeo emphasised that the amount of damage caused by the heat differs from person to person, and recommended that men should keep laptops off their laps when they get too hot.

“If the laptop is too hot, it should be placed on a mat or cushioned on other items. Users should avoid the transfer of heat from the computer to the body,” he advised.

Indeed, other studies have pointed to scrotal hyperthermia, or raised testicle temperature, which can easily occur if you are using a laptop on your lap for hours. The higher temperature negatively impacts sperm quality and can cause decreased fertility.

In a straw poll done by Shin Min Daily News, it found that 60 per cent of the men it interviewed have a habit of placing their laptops on their laps.

A 28-year-old civil servant, known only as Mr Lin, said that he likes to use his laptop on his bed and would usually place it on his lap. “I do not believe that putting the computer on my lap will harm my vital organ, so I would not change my habit.”

Others interviewed said that while there is no scientific evidence to show the threat of radiation, it is better to play safe, including one 20-year-old national serviceman, known only as Mr Lee, who said that he would put it on a desk or cooling tray.

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