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Laptops and infertility: It matters how you sit

Keeping legs together generates more unwanted scrotum heat than machine itself

1:13pm, November 10, 2010

If guys can find a way to operate laptop computers with their legs apart, they might limit their risk of infertility, a new study finds. Keeping the legs splayed while using a laptop generated substantially less damaging heat in the scrotum than keeping legs together, scientists report online November 8 in Fertility and Sterility. Putting a shield under the laptop didn’t seem to help beat the heat.

A hot scrotum is no laughing matter. The testes generally are 2 to 4 degrees Celsius cooler than standard body temperature, a unique environment conducive to the rapidly dividing nature of sperm cells. Heating the area can trigger oxidative stress, slow the motion of sperm and lessen their ability to fertilize an egg for weeks or months, says Edmund Sabanegh, a urologist at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio.

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