Study shows Pentium 4 laptop computers may affect male fertility

“Male fertility may be affected by perching laptop computers on the lap, according to a new study. Balancing laptop computers on the lap raises the scrotum’s temperature, say researchers including Yefim Sheynkin, MD, FACS, of the urology department at the State University of New York at Stony Brook,” Miranda Hitti reports for WebMD.

“About 15-20 percent of couples that want to get pregnant aren’t able to conceive. Many of those cases trace back to issues relating to the male. Gradually declining sperm production has been noted in recent decades, say the researchers. Elevated scrotal temperatures have been linked to male infertility. Many factors can raise scrotal temperature, including hot baths, saunas, and tight jockey shorts. Laptop computers may also belong on that list, say Sheynkin’s team. They studied 29 healthy young men ages 21 to 35 for two, one-hour sessions in a climate-controlled room,” Hitti reports.

“The researchers used two brands of Pentium 4 laptop computers. The brands aren’t identified in the study, which appears in the European journal Human Reproduction. The men balanced the computers on their laps. The researchers then removed the nonworking computers, instructing the men to hold the position for the rest of the session. Participants with working laptop computers kept the computers in place throughout the session. The men’s scrotal temperature was recorded every three minutes. The temperature on the bottom of the working computers was also monitored,” Hitti reports.

“‘Working on laptop computers in a laptop position causes significant scrotal temperature elevation as a result of heat exposure and posture-related effects,’ say the researchers. Is the increase enough to impair male fertility? The researchers can’t say for sure. However, they note that another study showed that sperm concentration dropped by 40 percent when median daytime scrotal temperature rose to about 34 degrees Fahrenheit (1 degree Celsius). More than 60 million laptop computers are expected to be in use by 2005, with another 90 million worldwide, the researchers say. Calling for more studies, they suggest that teenage boys and young men may want to limit their use of laptop computers on their laps,” Hitti reports.

Full article here.


  1. Oh puhlease! I doubt that Pentium 4 is the only culprit here. My 15″ PowerBook gets quite hot sometimes and is surely as “damaging” as a P4 laptop. This is almost as ridiculous as saying that PC monitors/speakers/keyboards are a health risk. Duh.

  2. Would be interesting to see what a Powerbook with the CPU running at full tilt puts out for heat. The story reminds me of a joke. A patient walks into his doctor’s office wearing nothing but cling wrap. The doc looks up and says ” I can clearly see your nuts”

    badum bah

  3. Lighten up Pete, that headline was obviously a humorous spin.

    Still, until similar testing has been carried out on PowerPC laptops, we have to give them the benefit of the doubt …

  4. How come no one gets the hilarity of it all? Can you imagine being one of the guys in this experiment?
    “Please sir, keep you genetalia under the hot laptop.”
    Imagine then having to give a “specimen” sample. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />
    I can definitely believe that “young men ages 21 to 35” are often giving “specimens” in front of their laptops. Blame the internet, the world’s largest distribution system for pr0n.

    haha… the word in the image says “lay”, how fitting!

  5. No more laptop dancing for me. Not sure how I would count my sperm should the need arise… ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”raspberry” style=”border:0;” />

  6. I don’t see why they pin the blame on P4 laptops, the Apple G3 PowerBooks got insanely hot, and the TiBooks got pretty hot too. I think it’s just that laptops are really hot to usue in your lap.

    And don’t flame me as being a Mac hater, I own both of those PBs I kist listed.

  7. No surprise here, testicles are outside of the body to keep them cool, warm them up and the efficiency goes down. Can’t imagine why Mother Nature persisted with this.

    Worry more about the electromagnetics, AirPort, Bluetooth, they do adversely affect fertility and more.

  8. Oh God, I wasn’t going to comment but then I saw my magic word was “comes” and I couldn’t resist.

    Is there some sort of metaphysical message that the magic word delivers? Oftentimes I have noticed surprising “coincidences” between the magic word and the content of articles or comments. Could it perhaps be functioning as some sort of Oracle as seen in the Matrix? One that we should consult before making major decisions?

  9. Did anyone read the article? Posture and tight clothing were also mentioned. And no, MadMac, Fox is not the only source reporting this.

    I’ve read other studies in years past concerning temperature on sperm production. The problem here is not just the CPU heat. Many people sit with their knees together to hold up a laptop computer. That posture limits blood flow, the same as crossing your legs. It also retains more heat, even if you’re not using a laptop. The one way the CPU heat may contribute — assuming that the laptop is propped out on the knees and not directly over the crotch (who could work like that?) — is through conduction. There are very large blood vessels running “inside” (medially) the legs, which might carry CPU heat straight into the crotch. Talk about liquid cooling…

  10. all this elevated scrotal temp stuff is nothing new. but what idiot places his laptop on his scrotum? dont most rest their laptops on their thighs?

    i cannot believe this is published and that someone got funding to do this research. sure if you cook your balls there wont be fantastic consequences, but taking a hot shower is proabbly a bigger danger than using a laptop.

    this is jsut another article that wants you to fear everything.

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