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Laptop overheating may affect male fertility, even with a pad

November 8, 2010 |  5:13 pm

Laptop_edited-1 Men might want to start leaving laptop action to the ladies. Or at least work while the computers are on a desk, according to recent research about “scrotal hyperthermia.”

It’s not the kind of “hot and heavy” most dudes prefer. Laptops release warmth that can overheat testicles within 15 minutes, according to researchers at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.
The heat even works its way through lap pads, though men rarely feel a temperature increase.

How do they know? Researchers used thermometers on 29 “healthy male volunteers” balancing a laptop on their knees. Lucky guys.

According to the research, legs spread at 70-degree angles kept the crown jewels a little bit cooler than working with knees together, but not too much. A “scrotal temperature elevation” of 1 degree Celsius happened within 28 minutes with legs wide apart and a laptop pad, double the time it took in the legs-touching scenario.

There isn’t any solid data that suggests that laptops affect male reproductive health one way or another, but the heat can’t help, researchers concluded. The findings were published in the Fertility and Sterility journal.

-- Tiffany Hsu

Photo: Software developers at a computer conference last month. Credit: Dibyangshu Sarkar/AFP/Getty Images.