Millions of men are putting their reproductive health at risk by balancing their laptops on their knees, experts have warned.
Researchers from the State University of New York asked 29 young men to work on computers placed on their laps. They then measured the change in temperature in their genital area. Study leader, Professor Yelim Sheynkin, said: 'Millions and millions of men are using laptops now, especially those in the reproductive age range.
'Within 10 or 15 minutes their scrotal temperature is already above what we consider safe, but they don't feel it.' Around one in seven couples in the UK have trouble conceiving and male infertility plays a part in around half of these cases.
Under normal circumstances, the position of the testicles outside the body keeps them a few degrees cooler than the inside of the body, which is necessary for sperm production.
No studies have yet researched how laptops affect male fertility, but earlier research has showed that warming the scrotum even more than one degree Celsius is enough to damage sperm.
The latest study, published in the journal Fertility and Sterility, found the mens' testicle temperature had risen by up to 2.5 C after holding a laptop on their knees for an hour.
Professor Sheynkin said: 'I wouldn't say that if someone starts to use laptops they will become infertile.' However, he warned that frequent use might contribute to reproductive problems because 'the scrotum doesn't have time to cool down.'
The team found when the men sat with their legs spread wide with a large lap pad under the computer they could keep their testicles cooler. But it still took less than 30 minutes before they began overheating.
'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,' Professor Sheynkin said.
Article:8th Novemeber 2010 www.dailymail.co.uk
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