Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Portables Science

Is Your Laptop Cooking Your Testicles? 293

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the sterility-seems-like-value-add dept.
Velcroman1 writes "Whoever invented the 'laptop' probably didn't worry too much about male reproductive health. Turns out, unsurprisingly, that sitting with a computer on your lap will crank up the temperature of your nether regions, which could affect sperm quality. And there is little you can do about it, according to the authors of a study out today in the journal Fertility and Sterility, short of putting your laptop on a desk. The researchers hooked thermometers to the scrotums of 29 young men (!) who were balancing a laptop on their knees. They found that even with a lap pad under the computer, the men's scrotums overheated quickly. 'Millions and millions of men are using laptops now, especially those in the reproductive age range,' said Dr. Yefim Sheynkin, a urologist at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, who led the new study."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Is Your Laptop Cooking Your Testicles?

Comments Filter:
  • by Daetrin (576516) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @08:48AM (#34172792)
    So how many young men who haven't settled down yet are looking at this more as an opportunity than a problem? :)
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Forget haven't settled down. I have four kids; they're fun but that's plenty for me.

      (Written in the maternity ward as they're inducing my wife)

    • by tsa (15680) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @09:17AM (#34173174) Homepage

      Yea man, I think it's great! I can fuck like my rabbits now without having an operation like my rabbits had. Oh, but my rabbits are actually a bad example because I only see my female rabbit hump the male every once in a while. On the head. And he likes it. She's bigger than him but he can lift her up with his head no problem if he wants to. I would like to meet a woman who can do that to me!

    • by tverbeek (457094) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @09:41AM (#34173510) Homepage

      And how many young men (and women) are going to be very disappointed when they discover that it's an astonishingly ineffective method of birth control?

    • by surgen (1145449) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @09:46AM (#34173586)

      Adobe Flash is my contraceptive.

  • Well? It does. Now, if only using a cell phone in public sterilized people as well ...
    • by Joce640k (829181)

      If that doesn't get the hipsters the bottled water and thermal till receipts will...

    • by mikael_j (106439)

      So you're suggesting we make it illegal to use phones designed to work anywhere only when we are in our own homes? Yeah, sounds like a great idea.

  • by Arancaytar (966377) <arancaytar.ilyaran@gmail.com> on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @08:51AM (#34172838) Homepage

    Wait till the Catholic church hears about that. :P

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      At last I see the true purpose behind the one laptop per child initiative sending all of it's product to third world countries. If they won't listen to reason and practice some restraint and birth control, we'll just sneak it up on them! Unfortunately, someone just went and spilled the beans, so the Church will know that they need to add Laptop Computers to the list of things they claim cause aids when making speeches in Africa.

      • by Duradin (1261418)

        Sorry if you got your conspiracy hat and robe on, but the OLPC XO doesn't run hot, it can barely run luke-warm. A low power system with a (for a laptop) tiny battery and a thick plastic case without any air/heat vents is not going to make it much above room temperature and even if it did all the guts (aside from the battery, keyboard, and trackpad) are with the screen.

    • Banning laptops would leave their laps free for other things to be seated there.

  • by Gothmolly (148874) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @08:52AM (#34172846)

    This is good news - we don't need any more people on the planet anyways.

    • That's easy to say, until of course you get older and realize that it's the next generation filling all the roles you once had.

  • No solution (Score:4, Funny)

    by IndustrialComplex (975015) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @08:52AM (#34172852)

    If only there were a way to get rid of those damaged cells and create new ones.

    Or maybe we can evolve some way to correct that ridiculous stopgap measure that we have due to sperm's inability to withstand normal body temperatures.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @08:52AM (#34172854)

    "You don't understand," said the man at the return counter. "I said I wanted a computer with a compact DISK burner."

  • "Chestnuts roasting on an open fire."
  • by cgfsd (1238866) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @08:55AM (#34172882)

    Last I heard women on webcam can't get pregnant over the internet.

    • by need4mospd (1146215) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @09:32AM (#34173384)
      Chuck Norris can get women pregnant over a webcam.

      Also, his testicles have been known to cook laptops. True story.

      • by gstoddart (321705)

        Chuck Norris can get women pregnant over a webcam.

        Also, his testicles have been known to cook laptops. True story.

        You know, I've always wondered what Chuck Norris thinks about being an internet meme.

        I mean, what if it makes him angry? Then we're all screwed! :-P

        • by c++0xFF (1758032) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @10:53AM (#34174502)

          Fortunately, he doesn't mind. He even thinks they're funny [chucknorris.com]:

          I'm aware of the made up declarations about me that have recently begun to appear on the Internet and in emails as "Chuck Norris facts." I've seen some of them. Some are funny. Some are pretty far out. Being more a student of the Wild West than the wild world of the Internet, I'm not quite sure what to make of it. It's quite surprising. I do know that boys will be boys, and I neither take offense nor take these things too seriously. Who knows, maybe these made up one-liners will prompt young people to seek out the real facts as found in my recent autobiographical book, "Against All Odds?" They may even be interested enough to check out my novels set in the Old West, "The Justice Riders," released this month. I'm very proud of these literary efforts.
          ~ Chuck Norris

          Quite a reasonable response, if you ask me. He sees the humor and the value of free publicity.

    • by GungaDan (195739)

      Unless it's a 3D webcam...

  • Do people really use laptops on their laps? The whole keyboard/screen relationship is totally wrong in that configuration.
  • Old, old news (Score:4, Informative)

    by toppavak (943659) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @09:02AM (#34172978)
    There was a humorous TED talk [ted.com] on this over 2 years ago following quite a bit of media coverage on the same topic. I believe its also been explored whether internal diaper temperatures may do long term harm the development of the testes.
  • Wow (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @09:03AM (#34173000)

    You'd have to have balls to participate in that experiment.

  • by petes_PoV (912422)
    Mankind evolved naked, so presumably wearing trousers also has an insulating effect on the scrotum and therefore increases testicle temperatures. How come we never hear about the "male health" dangers of getting dressed?
    • by o'reor (581921)

      I think you could bring a few revolutionary ideas to contemporary male underwear/trousers design... Way to go !

    • TFA covers it - clothes aren't a huge deal since you're moving around. It's leg position that affects temperature.

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      we just got winter in finland, a bit early but way below 0C. I think waiting for the bus naked would be enough to make me forget worrying about my balls forever.

      I'd be more worried about neck problems from using a laptop on your lap than sperm quality, tbh.

    • Re:clothes, too? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Peeteriz (821290) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @09:55AM (#34173718)

      Scotsmen have a solution that should also help with the laptop-caused problem.

      • Re:clothes, too? (Score:4, Informative)

        by gstoddart (321705) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @10:24AM (#34174130) Homepage

        Scotsmen have a solution that should also help with the laptop-caused problem.

        Oh, aye! There's nothing like walking about in a kilt in 3 degrees celcius to keep the boys nicely aired out and cool. Trust me, I've done it.

        On a really windy day your buttocks can get a wee bit chilled -- though your sporran keeps the front of the kilt in place and held down. Though, on a boat deck, I once gave some German tourists more than they bargained for. ;-)

  • by necro81 (917438) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @09:12AM (#34173094) Journal
    Despite what may seem obvious, it wasn't so much the heat coming from the computer that was doing it. When you think about it, the hot parts of a laptop are a good distance away from your scrotum (or, at least, they should be if you're not doin' it wrong). The researchers found that it was the leg position used to keep the computer on the lap - i.e., legs closed together - that was the source of the problem. Keeping your legs together while seated was the strongest cause in the rise in scrotal temperature, because you're surrounding your nads with warm parts of the body and covering surface area that would help remove heat. The researchers found that keeping your legs apart would mitigate the problem, but only a little, because then you'd need a large laptop pad bridging the gap, which covers your nethers right back up. Or you could get a humongously wide laptop.

    Somehow, I'm thinking that the future of the human race is not imperiled by laptops making men infertile. At least, not in that way.
    • by inviolet (797804) <slashdot.ideasmatter@org> on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @09:16AM (#34173148) Journal

      Despite what may seem obvious, it wasn't so much the heat coming from the computer that was doing it. When you think about it, the hot parts of a laptop are a good distance away from your scrotum (or, at least, they should be if you're not doin' it wrong). The researchers found that it was the leg position used to keep the computer on the lap - i.e., legs closed together - that was the source of the problem.

      Indeed.

      Everyone is wringing their hands about the worldwide drop in sperm counts... I wonder how much of that is due to the current fashionable explanation (we live submerged at the bottom of an ocean of manmade xenoestrogens), versus how much of that is due to simply sitting all day long.

      It is only recently, historically speaking, that we've all started to sit for a living. And since we've also been taught to fear the sun ("OMG teh UV rays!!11!"), we move around even less.

    • by jockeys (753885)

      ... scrotal temperature...

      I'm sorry, my ability to keep reading, without giggling, after seeing this is basically nonexistent...

    • by wertigon (1204486)

      Or you could get a laptop small enough to balance on one leg. Like, well, most 10-12".

      • by necro81 (917438)
        I had an apple 12" G4 back in the day, and enjoyed it for many years. My experience with it, however, was that it wasn't terribly stable balanced on just one leg. Or, having it on one leg, I'd usually need to keep one or both hands on it. One-handed typing wasn't terribly effective, either. Perhaps today's 10" notebooks, being smaller and lighter, are more stable.
    • by Hatta (162192)

      Awesome. So I don't even need a laptop to benefit.

    • I've got my 12" laptop straddling between my gut and right thigh in a recumbent position, quite comfortable. No apparent increase in temperature to the groin, thigh or abdomen, which sucks because my room is freezing.
  • good news i say, being a mac owner i couldnt afford to raise a child!
  • It gets your feet warm and saves your future generation!
  • Sounds like a cheap new form of birth control to me!
  • ... I use a laptop!
  • If only I'd known about this six years ago! [newscientist.com]
    • by BobMcD (601576)

      TFA said it was about the body heat being collected, so what exactly got solved?

  • I've seen studies that showed that heating the testicles for a number of minutes each day in 100+ F degree water will reduce the sperm count to zero after a few weeks. After stopping treatment sperm count rebounded to normal levels.

    Tell me what the long term effects are.

  • I type medical transcription on a laptop to make my living. Thankfully I'm past the age where I'd want more children. Bonus would be if I were still attractive enough to catch a little action on the side -- no worries with a low sperm count! ROFL!

  • Problem: Planet's population exploding past 6 Billion with no end in sight. Solution: in 2nd and 1st world countries, give males internet porn and sperm-killing laptops. Work to further development of cheap laptops and internet connectivity for 3rd world. Solve the world's #1 problem.

    Now you know why technology is great!

  • Or portable computing evolves to something less harmful, or humanity evolves to something that will hate portable computers, at the very genetic level.
  • Use nothing but my Laptop as IT consultant yet my wife and I are now expecting our third child.

    Certainly not recommended for birth control.

  • The researchers hooked thermometers to the scrotums of 29 young men (!) who were balancing a laptop on their knees. They found that even with a lap pad under the computer, the men's scrotums overheated quickly

    Were they viewing porn on the laptop?

  • Hot tub (Score:2, Informative)

    by rcnut (1840430)
    This is also why they say that you shouldn't sit in a hot tub before trying to conceive. Although they didn't say anything about trying to conceive while in a hot tub.
  • ...make it clear that a male contraceptive pill would have a real success...
  • Getting one of these heaters into the lap of every child in the world might just be our best chance to keep humans for further overpopulating the planet to catastrophe.

    Or maybe that's the Internet's plan to extinct us and take over. Phase I, replacing our reproductive drive with porn, is already wildly successful.

  • ...laptops are called laptops because you can put them on top of your lap. I never realized that was why they were called that since no human being has ever put one on their lap before this study.

Genius is ten percent inspiration and fifty percent capital gains.

Working...