15 June 2009

Laptop fertility warning

by Kate Melville

Father's Day has prompted one fertility expert to issue a fresh warning to men who use their laptop computers on, er, their laps. Suzanne Kavic, director of reproductive endocrinology at Loyola University, says that most men underestimate the effect that the heat from laptops can have on sperm production.

"Laptops are becoming increasingly common among young men wired into to the latest technology," said Kavic. "However, the heat generated from laptops can impact sperm production and development making it difficult to conceive down the road."

Fertility problems are typically thought of as relating to the female partner, but Kavic points out that 40 percent of fertility issues are attributed to the male. Other leading causes of male infertility include varicocoeles, or enlarged varicose veins in the scrotum. This condition can raise the temperature in the testicles and damage or kill sperm. Other reasons include genital injuries or defects, certain sexually transmitted infections, prostatitis (an infection or inflammation of the prostate), hormonal disorders and erectile dysfunction.

For laptop users, Kavic recommends placing the machines on desktops to prevent damaging sperm and decreasing counts and motility. She also offered other tips to help protect male fertility, including:

"Medications for depression, blood pressure and certain heart conditions may lower libido or cause impotence," said Kavic. "Men should talk with their physicians to see if medication is necessary or if they can switch to another with fewer side effects. With Father's Day, males should be reminded to take care of their health. A healthy lifestyle may make it easier to become a dad when the time is right."

More evidence for obesity-infertility link
Drink-Up For Superior Sperm
Environmental Factors Damaging Men's Reproductive Health

Source: Loyola University Health System