Laptops As A Cause Of Sterility

Most young men don't think about fatherhood. If they think about the idea at all, it's about the fact that it's something way in the future. But what they don't realize is that their behavior now may make or break the difference between becoming a father and never realizing the experience. One example of this type of behavior is overuse of laptop computers, says one reproductive medicine specialist at Loyola University Health System (LUHS).

Too Hot

Director of the division of reproductive endocrinology at that institution, Suzanne Kavic, MD, who is also an associate professor for the department of obstetrics and gynecology and of the department of medicine at Loyola's Stritch School of Medicine says that while laptops are becoming very common as a way for young men to connect with the world, the machines generate a great deal of heat. The effect of these high temperatures on a young man's groin is to imperil sperm production and sperm development. That may signify conception troubles ahead.

Kavic advises men to place their laptops on desktops or tables, instead of on their laps, to avoid sperm damage, decreased sperm counts, and sperm motility. What other measures does Kavic recommend in the way of advice on protecting a young man's future fertility?

*Stay out of hot tubs

*Choose boxers over briefs

*Don't ejaculate too often, every other day is fine

*Don't do very strenuous exercise or exercise more than an hour 3-5 times a week

*Refrain from exercise that generates trauma or heat in the genital area

*Eat a nutritious diet

*Take a multivitamin every day

*Get 8 hours of sleep each night

*Drink plenty of water and don't drink more than 2 cups of coffee a day

*Don't smoke

*Stay away from recreational drugs and alcohol

*Protect yourself against possible exposure to toxins

*Avoid extremes when it comes to your weight

*Learn how to cope with stress and use stress reduction techniques where necessary

Family Jewels

How important are these pieces of advice? Aren't most fertility problems attributed to women? Well, yes, but 40% of all fertility issues are related to the male half of a couple. That's a significant percentage, almost half. So when people joke about protecting the family jewels, they aren't kidding.

One major cause of male factor infertility is varicose veins that appear on the scrotum. The condition, known in doctor-speak as varicocele, causes a rise in temperature in the testicles that in turn damages or kills sperm. But using a laptop is just as deadly, to sperm, at least.

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