The heat emitting from your laptop could be doing more than warming your lap. A new study found links between the electromagnetic radiation emitted by Wi-Fi enabled laptops and sperm damage.
The study published in the journal Fertility and Sterility found after four hours of exposure to Wi-Fi radiation from an internet-connected laptop, one-quarter of the sperm were no longer swimming. In comparison 14 percent of sperm cells kept at the same temperature that was not exposed to Wi-Fi stopped swimming.
The study also found DNA damage was more common in the sperm exposed to Wi-Fi radiation.
“Our data suggest that the use of a laptop computer wirelessly connected to the internet and positioned near the male reproductive organs may decrease human sperm quality,” wrote the researchers at Nascentis Medicina Reproductiva in Argentina. “At present we do not know whether this effect is induced by all laptop computers connected by Wi-Fi to the Internet or what use conditions heighten this effect.”
But not everyone is buying this theory.
Reuters reports, the president of the Society of Male Reproduction and Urology, Dr. Robert Oates, said he doesn’t think laptops are a threat to male reproductive health.
“This is not real-life biology, this is a completely artificial setting. It is scientifically interesting, but to me it doesn’t have any human biological relevance,” he told Reuters. “Suddenly all of this angst is created for real-life actual persons that doesn’t have to be.”
Whether laptops are to blame, the issue of American infertility is real. According to the American Urological Association, one in six couples in the United States have trouble conceiving. Half of the time the man is the problem.