A woman named Laura and Scott Reed tried unsuccessfully for six months to conceive before consulting professionals. After doctors said that the heat from Scott’s laptop was cooking his sperm, Scott began using his computer on the table. Three months later, their baby Taryn was conceived and is 11 months old today.
The Hidden Dangers of Heat and Wi-Fi
“I never thought using a laptop would affect the quality of my sperm,” says Scott. “After asking if I was a chef, the next thing was, ‘Do you use a laptop?’”
The problem of sperm damaged from overheating is common in chefs, who work in hot kitchens, but is also becoming increasingly widespread in men who use laptops, even for short periods of time. It only takes 10 to 15 minutes of laptop use to cause scrotal damage and impair fertility, according to a study published in the medical journal Fertility and Sterility.
“Scott would use his laptop in the evenings for a couple of hours on and off while we were watching television. He would use it for work and general things like Facebook,” Laura says.
It’s not just heat that laptops generate to our detriment. Electromagnetic frequencies from cell phones with WiFi change 143 proteins in animal brains over 8 months, and only 4 hours of a laptop with Wi-Fi causes DNA fragmentation in sperm (not to mention a dramatic decrease in their number).
Protecting Yourself from Laptops and Low-Dose Radiation
Scott now advises men to be wary of laptop use, especially so close to the genitals. “Generally men clam up and don’t want to talk about anything to do with genitals. Don’t be scared of going through the process. I wanted children and so I got tested.”
As with Scott’s case, it may not be too late for many fathers-to-be hopefuls to repair the damage. Simply use your laptop at a desk or table rather than positioning it on your lap.
When it comes to avoiding Wi-Fi and the low-dose radiation thereof, it gets a little trickier. Use a desktop computer with an Ethernet cable whenever possible, or switch off the Wi-Fi of your laptop. You can turn off your phone’s Wi-Fi when not in use with the help of a simple app or widget. (This will also save battery life on your phone.) If you just can’t bear getting rid of your wireless router, switch it (and your phone’s wireless) off at night to limit your exposure.
You could also invest in some radiation protection.