Written by Ben Bunting: BA(Hons), PGCert.
When it comes to fertility, there is a lot of misinformation out there. It is one of those issues where the combination of inherited wisdom and bad science can feel overwhelming.
It is also an area where people are often desperate for answers. If you are having issues with your fertility, of course, you will want to turn over every rock, try every remedy and give every crazy theory a go. You will also want to look at any potential risk factor, no matter how far-fetched it seems.
One of the most common theories that you will hear surrounding fertility is that laptop radiation can be a real risk factor.
You may have noticed this idea being floated around a lot more in the last year and a half, as many more of us have been working from home and trying to get comfy while doing so.
But if you are trying to start a family, there are a lot of people out there who will tell you that you need to keep your laptop off your lap as much as possible. Is there any truth to this, or is it just an urban legend?
Here is what we will be looking at.
- What Do We Mean By Infertility?
- Why Do People Think Laptop Radiation Causes Infertility?
- Does Laptop Radiation Cause Infertility?
- What Other Reasons Are There For Infertility?
- How Can I Improve My Fertility?
What Do We Mean By Infertility?
Infertility is a broad term that is generally used to describe the inability to have children of your own. When it comes to male infertility, this term is more specific. It can be used to describe erectile dysfunction, but more commonly, it is used in relation to what is described as poor-quality sperm.
That means that your sperm does not have the right motility or that the sperm is abnormally shaped. The term can also apply if the man in question has a sperm count that is too low. There are many different potential factors out there that can cause or contribute to infertility, but is laptop radiation one of them?
Why Do People Think Laptop Radiation Causes Infertility?
Although it should be noted that most experts seem to agree that women should not worry about laptop radiation causing infertility, men may have something to consider.
The main reason for this is because of your testicles. Now, we all know that testicles are located outside of the torso in the scrotum. This is because our testicles need to be cooler than our core temperature.
When we expose them to sustained levels of additional heat, there could be the risk that we damage our sperm quality or our sperm count. If we’re trying for a baby, of course, we want to avoid that happening.
Does Laptop Radiation Cause Infertility?
The basic building blocks of this argument do add up to something quite compelling.
We know that laptops can generate a lot of heat if they are left on for a long time, and it is easy to see how sitting with your laptop on your lap could start to raise the temperature of your scrotum.
In fact, a study in 2005 showed that the heat from a laptop could raise that temperature by up to 2.8 degrees Celsius. In this case, the heat is caused by the laptop, rather than any other form of radiation, so putting a cushion or pillow between your laptop and your lap is not actually helping matters.
However, there have also been some studies that have shown that electromagnetic frequencies can cause fertility issues.
What about the internet?
Connecting to the internet (WiFi) whilst using a laptop resting on a mans lap for a period of 4 hours significantly decreased sperm motility and increased sperm DNA fragmentation.
It is thought that the body absorbs some of the transmited energy and radio frequency electromagnetic waves.
The amount of data proving that it does is not quite there yet. However, there is enough compelling evidence to make you think twice and put your laptop on a table instead.
What Other Reasons Are There For Infertility?
The fact of the matter is that there are a lot of different reasons that contribute to male infertility. The first thing to note is that there are several medical reasons that may be behind any fertility issues.
There are some inherited medical conditions that can cause infertility. If you have had any treatment for testicular cancer, or if you have had any injury to or surgery on your testicles, then this may have had an impact on the quality of your sperm.
You should also note that there are some medications that can have a negative impact on your sperm quality. But what about lifestyle choices?
For example, if you drink a lot of alcohol, you could be doing real damage to your sperm quality. If you are a smoker, then you should consider quitting for a wide range of reasons, fertility being one of them. Being overweight or obese also means that you could have fertility issues.
How Can I Improve My Fertility?
Research in to laptops and their effects on scrotal temperature found that even laptop pads that are used to act as a shield did little to alleviate the rise in temperature.
If you must sit with a laptop over your lap the only reasonable action is to sit with your legs apart and reduce the time spent using your laptop.
If you are worried about your lifestyle choices having an impact on your fertility, then there are a lot of changes that you can make.
You could also look at supplements. Testosterone is an area that has a broader impact on the male body than you might think, and fertility is one of them.
There has been research that has shown that low testosterone has been present in approximately 15% of infertile men, so it is worth thinking about supplements that can help to boost your testosterone levels.
Our supplement contains natural, safe nutrients that have all been specifically chosen to improve reproductive health in men.
In addition to your testosterone, it also helps your sperm health with d-aspartic acid, vitamin D and selenium.
These ingredients also help to improve the function of the testis. The third area that Fertiligy targets are oxidative stress. It includes antioxidants that have been shown to help in this area, including Beta Carotene and d-Alpha-Tocopherol.
While there may not be definitive data that proves that laptop radiation causes infertility, there is enough to make it a risk factor.
You can limit this risk by using a desk or, if you need to place your laptop on your lap, try spreadig your legs apart to limit contact and increase your resting periods.
You should be avoiding any such risks when you are trying for a child and looking at how you can work on your fertility. Fertiligy’s knowledge base can help you answer a lot of common, and less common, questions about this issue and help you to build the best possible strategy.