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'Laptops nuke men's sperm'

By Reuters | Nov 29, 2011 | COMMENTS [ 34 ]

The digital age has left men's nether parts in a squeeze, if you believe the latest science on semen, laptops and wireless connections

In a report in the venerable medical journal Fertility and Sterility, Argentinian scientists describe how they got semen samples from 29 healthy men, placed a few drops under a laptop connected to the Internet via Wi-Fi and then hit download.

Four hours later, the semen was, eh, well-done.

A quarter of the sperm were no longer swimming around, for instance, compared to just 14 percent from semen samples stored at the same temperature away from the computer.

And nine percent of the sperm showed DNA damage, three-fold more than the comparison samples.

The culprit?

Electromagnetic radiation generated during wireless communication, say Conrado Avendano of Nascentis Medicina Reproductiva in Cordoba and colleagues.

"Our data suggest that the use of a laptop computer wirelessly connected to the internet and positioned near the male reproductive organs may decrease human sperm quality," they write in their report.

"At present we do not know whether this effect is induced by all laptop computers connected by Wi-Fi to the internet or what use conditions heighten this effect."

A separate test with a laptop that was on, but not wirelessly connected, found negligible EM radiation from the machine alone.

The findings fuel concerns raised by a few other research teams.

Some have found that radiation from cell phones creates feeble sperm in the lab, for example.

And last year urologists described how a man's sitting with a laptop balanced on his knees can crank up the temperature of his scrotum to levels that aren't good for sperm.

So between the heat and the radiation from today's electronic devices, testicles would seem to be hard-pressed.

But that is not at all clear, said Dr. Robert Oates, who has managed to father two kids despite having both a laptop and an iPad.

The president of the Society for Male Reproduction and Urology, Oates told Reuters Health he doesn't believe laptops are a significant threat to male reproductive health.

"This is not real-life biology, this is a completely artificial setting," he said about the new study. "It is scientifically interesting, but to me it doesn't have any human biological relevance."

He added that so far, no study has ever looked at whether laptop use has any influence on fertility or pregnancy outcomes.

"Suddenly all of this angst is created for real-life actual persons that doesn't have to be," said Oates, also of Boston Medical Center.

According to the American Urological Association, nearly one in six couples in the US have trouble conceiving a baby, and about half the time the man is at the root of the problem.

While the impact of modern technology is still murky, lifestyle does matter, researchers say.

Earlier this month, a report in Fertility and Sterility showed that men who eat a diet rich in fruit and grains and low in red meat, alcohol and coffee have a better shot at getting their partner pregnant during fertility treatment.

"You should be keeping yourself healthy," including staying lean, eating healthy foods, exercising, not taking drugs and not smoking, agreed Oates.

And for those laptop worries, he mused, "I don't know how many people use laptops on their laps anyway."

COMMENTS [ 34 ]

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heeeeeeeeeh tsek sowetan what about us women.............will we stop menstruating too?

Nov 29, 2011 9:15 | 0 replies

This is not true

Nov 29, 2011 11:2 | 0 replies

so grand-grand i-laptop ipheka amasende?
k'yabheda.. lol

Nov 29, 2011 11:24 | 0 replies

@Fozha1 how do u know all male bloggers shoot blanks? Have u slept with them all to prove dat?

Nov 29, 2011 11:34 | 0 replies

@katakata
eish!!! le wena. why o rogakana jwanong?

Nov 29, 2011 11:36 | 0 replies

@Limpopoist

last year some time they said that jockeys also cause low count, smoking , drinking, if that was true we would not have 7 billion people on this planet, these researchers mara, mxxm

@Shenene

lol, I'm glad there is no third one. kids are damn expensive you know ;)

@PAPALETHABO

haai, not possible, they look just just me, unless I have a twin look alike :)

iri ba complaine chief, kids are a lot of work. I'm glad mine are not on nappies and NIDO any more

Nov 29, 2011 11:40 | 0 replies

@CheeseBoy

how sure are you that this kids are your kids? it may be rubbish or it may not be rubbish...

Nov 29, 2011 11:43 | 0 replies

@cheesyboy no sweety i dont now cause i dont have any

Nov 29, 2011 12:34 | 0 replies

Yaa ne, Dilo dia direga, mo lfaseng

Nov 29, 2011 12:40 | 0 replies

they watch porn during working hours.........................

Nov 29, 2011 1:0 | 0 replies

@CheeseBoy
this is total bullsh!t

I been using a laptop for years and I got 2 kids.

Where do they get this rubbish from??????
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baba please do the partenity test!!!

Nov 29, 2011 1:22 | 0 replies