Does Laptop Wi-Fi Lower Sperm Counts?

Does Laptop Wi-Fi Lower Sperm Counts?
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Should laptops not be on laps? What is the effect of WiFi exposure on sperm motility and DNA damage?

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Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

“It is impossible to imagine a modern socially-active man who does not use [cell phones] and…Wi-Fi…” Might that be “harmful for male fertility…?” In my last video, I talked about how the sperm of men who use Wi-Fi tend to not be getting along as swimmingly well, but that was an observational study. You don’t really know if Wi-Fi actually damages sperm until you put it to the test.

The title kind of gives it all away, but basically, “this [was] the first study to evaluate the direct impact of laptop use on human sperm….” Here’s the DNA fragmentation in samples near and far away from a laptop with an active Wi-Fi connection—suggesting one might not want to position a Wi-Fi device “near the male reproductive organs.”

Yeah, Wi-Fi exposure may decrease human sperm motility, and increase sperm DNA fragmentation, but the effect is minor. I mean, is having 10% fewer good swimmers really going to make a difference? Fertile men release hundreds of millions. What has yet to be done is a study looking at bouncing baby endpoints—do men randomized to a certain exposure have a tougher time having children? It’s actually a harder study to perform than one might think. You can’t just have men avoid cell phones and laptops for a day. Yes, we make millions of new sperm a day, but they take months to mature. The sperm with which you conceive today started as a preconceived notion months before. So, you can imagine why such a study has yet to be done: you’d have to randomize men to essentially avoid wireless communications completely, or maybe come up with some kind of Faraday-cage underwear.

Another reason why one may not want to use a laptop computer on your lap is just the heat generated by the laptop itself—Wi-Fi or not—[can warm men’s scrotums], undermining the whole point of scrotum possession in the first place. This all dates back to a famous series of experiments back in 1968.

It was an illuminating study, one might say. Sometimes, they’d add a reflector to boost the heat, “though the bulb alone was just as effective,” but they had to move it closer to the skin. Much simpler, but more likely to result in a Jerry Lee Lewis song. (“Great Balls of Fire!”)

But now, we have nice cool fluorescents. But, heated car seats remain a “testicular heat stress factor.” Saunas aren’t a good idea for men trying to conceive. Sperm counts before, and after—apparently cutting sperm production in half—and still down, three months later. But apparent full recovery by six months. But, that’s why boxers, not briefs—or, go all commando. Who makes money on that, though? That’s why we need a “scrotal cooling device” industry, though this review noted that “more acceptable scrotal cooling techniques” really need to be developed. Why? Whatever are they referring to?

It seems the devices currently on the market are not so practical, day to day. There’s the “curved rubber collar filled with ice cubes.” Another was just like a freezer gel pack inserted in the guy’s underwear every night. Not to worry though; it thaws in three to four hours, tops. Holy Snowballs, Batman!

Do not, I repeat, do not put an ice pack on your scrotum. A few frozen peas and carrots, and you can frostbite yourself. See, sometimes, even vegetables can be bad for you. Then, there’s the schvitzer that keeps the scrotum damp, and finally, attached with a belt, achievement of scrotal cooling with “a continuous air stream.”

With so many options to choose from, do laptop users really need protection from scrotal hyperthermia? You don’t know, until you put it to the test. And indeed, an “[i]ncrease in scrotal temperature [was] found in laptop computer users”—scrotal temperatures up a feverish five degrees Fahrenheit.

A little scrotal warmth doesn’t sound that bad, though. Then, I read this case report: “a previously healthy 50-year-old scientist,” typing out a report one evening. “Sitting comfortably in [his favorite] …chair,…laptop [in] lap,” but woke up the next day with blisters—penile and scrotal blisters that then broke, and “developed into infected wounds that caused extensive [oozing pus].”

Even third-degree burns have been reported, requiring surgical intervention with skin grafts. The guy drank 12 units of vodka, and passed out while watching a film on his lap, and the laptop burned through his leg. The surgeons call for “a public education campaign” to educate the public “against the risks of using a laptop in its most literal sense.” Uh, how about educating the public instead against drinking 12 units of vodka?

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: rawpixel.com via Unsplash. Image has been modified.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

“It is impossible to imagine a modern socially-active man who does not use [cell phones] and…Wi-Fi…” Might that be “harmful for male fertility…?” In my last video, I talked about how the sperm of men who use Wi-Fi tend to not be getting along as swimmingly well, but that was an observational study. You don’t really know if Wi-Fi actually damages sperm until you put it to the test.

The title kind of gives it all away, but basically, “this [was] the first study to evaluate the direct impact of laptop use on human sperm….” Here’s the DNA fragmentation in samples near and far away from a laptop with an active Wi-Fi connection—suggesting one might not want to position a Wi-Fi device “near the male reproductive organs.”

Yeah, Wi-Fi exposure may decrease human sperm motility, and increase sperm DNA fragmentation, but the effect is minor. I mean, is having 10% fewer good swimmers really going to make a difference? Fertile men release hundreds of millions. What has yet to be done is a study looking at bouncing baby endpoints—do men randomized to a certain exposure have a tougher time having children? It’s actually a harder study to perform than one might think. You can’t just have men avoid cell phones and laptops for a day. Yes, we make millions of new sperm a day, but they take months to mature. The sperm with which you conceive today started as a preconceived notion months before. So, you can imagine why such a study has yet to be done: you’d have to randomize men to essentially avoid wireless communications completely, or maybe come up with some kind of Faraday-cage underwear.

Another reason why one may not want to use a laptop computer on your lap is just the heat generated by the laptop itself—Wi-Fi or not—[can warm men’s scrotums], undermining the whole point of scrotum possession in the first place. This all dates back to a famous series of experiments back in 1968.

It was an illuminating study, one might say. Sometimes, they’d add a reflector to boost the heat, “though the bulb alone was just as effective,” but they had to move it closer to the skin. Much simpler, but more likely to result in a Jerry Lee Lewis song. (“Great Balls of Fire!”)

But now, we have nice cool fluorescents. But, heated car seats remain a “testicular heat stress factor.” Saunas aren’t a good idea for men trying to conceive. Sperm counts before, and after—apparently cutting sperm production in half—and still down, three months later. But apparent full recovery by six months. But, that’s why boxers, not briefs—or, go all commando. Who makes money on that, though? That’s why we need a “scrotal cooling device” industry, though this review noted that “more acceptable scrotal cooling techniques” really need to be developed. Why? Whatever are they referring to?

It seems the devices currently on the market are not so practical, day to day. There’s the “curved rubber collar filled with ice cubes.” Another was just like a freezer gel pack inserted in the guy’s underwear every night. Not to worry though; it thaws in three to four hours, tops. Holy Snowballs, Batman!

Do not, I repeat, do not put an ice pack on your scrotum. A few frozen peas and carrots, and you can frostbite yourself. See, sometimes, even vegetables can be bad for you. Then, there’s the schvitzer that keeps the scrotum damp, and finally, attached with a belt, achievement of scrotal cooling with “a continuous air stream.”

With so many options to choose from, do laptop users really need protection from scrotal hyperthermia? You don’t know, until you put it to the test. And indeed, an “[i]ncrease in scrotal temperature [was] found in laptop computer users”—scrotal temperatures up a feverish five degrees Fahrenheit.

A little scrotal warmth doesn’t sound that bad, though. Then, I read this case report: “a previously healthy 50-year-old scientist,” typing out a report one evening. “Sitting comfortably in [his favorite] …chair,…laptop [in] lap,” but woke up the next day with blisters—penile and scrotal blisters that then broke, and “developed into infected wounds that caused extensive [oozing pus].”

Even third-degree burns have been reported, requiring surgical intervention with skin grafts. The guy drank 12 units of vodka, and passed out while watching a film on his lap, and the laptop burned through his leg. The surgeons call for “a public education campaign” to educate the public “against the risks of using a laptop in its most literal sense.” Uh, how about educating the public instead against drinking 12 units of vodka?

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: rawpixel.com via Unsplash. Image has been modified.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video

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