Your Laptop May Be Toasting Your Testicles
Well, they're not. Even with one of those laptop cooling pads between your netbook and your nethers, your boys can quickly rise in temperature without you feeling it, according to new research published this month in Fertility and Sterility. In what must have been one of the more delicate studies undertaken for the annals of urological health, researchers strapped thermometers to the scrota of 29 subjects, each of whom then held a laptop on his knees. Within ten minutes, testicular temperatures began to rise, reaching a 2.5 degree Celsius increase within an hour.
The potential problem with warm testicles is, of course, temperature-sensitive sperm going infertile. Although the study, led by State University of New York at Stony Brook's Dr. Yefim Sheynkin, did not correlate sperm counts with laptop heat exposure, earlier research has demonstrated that even a one degree Celsius increase in the scrotum is enough to damage sperm. But Sheynkin was quick to point out to Reuters Health, "I wouldn't say that if someone starts to use laptops they will become infertile." He noted, though, that frequent laptop use doesn't give your scrotum the chance to cool, which could possibly lead to reproductive problems.
The answer? Well, there really isn't one, outside of putting your laptop on your desk. Even when the study's participants sat wide-legged with a broad laptop pad, their nether temperatures began to rise within 30 minutes. "No matter what you do, even with the legs spread wide apart, the temperature is still going to be higher than what we call safe," Sheynkin said. But, if you're determined to use your laptop and still try to procreate one day, just give the boys a cool-down break every now and then, suggests urologist Dr. James F. Smith of the University of California, San Francisco. Sage advice for your stones, we think.