Go onto any college campus or into any Starbucks and you see nearly every person pecking away on their computers. Some men will balance their laptop computers on their laps. As a result the heat from the laptop raise a man’s scrotal temperature a very small amount. This small elevation of temperature, if done often enough, may decrease a man’s sperm count.
Elevated scrotal temperatures have been linked to poor sperm counts according to a study at New York University. Other situations that can raise scrotal temperatures including hot baths, saunas, and the wearing of tight jockey shorts.
The study which was reported in the Journal of Human Reproduction measured the scrotal temperature every three minutes between men holding computers on their laps which were turned on and men holding computers which were left in the off position. Those men holding a working lap top computer had a 5 degrees Fahrenheit increase in scrotal temperature. Also noted was that men with their thighs held close together had the greatest increase in scrotal temperature. The researchers concluded that “Working on laptop computers in a laptop position causes significant scrotal temperature elevation as a result of heat exposure and posture-related effects.”
The main question is the increase in temperature enough to impair male fertility? The researchers didn’t conclude the connection between laptop use and sperm counts. However, the authors noted that another study showed that sperm concentration dropped by 40% when median daytime scrotal temperature rose by 1 to 2 degrees Fahrenheit.
Bottom Line: I know for sure that more heat to the scrotal area is going to be deleterious for sperm production. Therefore, I suggest that young men or men in the fertility age group may want to limit their use of laptop computers on their laps.