list: Long Battery life, Instant-On, Tons of apps, and the fact that
it Does NOT overheat. Well here is another reason to use the iPad
instead of a laptop...
Scorched scrotums: Is your laptop cooking your testicles?
Whoever invented the 'laptop' probably didn't worry too much about
male reproductive health.
Turns out 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
"Within 10 or 15 minutes their scrotal temperature is already above
what we consider safe, but they don't feel it," he added.
So far, no studies have actually tested how laptops impact men's
fertility, said Sheynkin, and there is no bulletproof evidence that it
would. But earlier research has shown that warming the scrotum more
than one degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) is enough to damage
Under normal circumstances, the testicles' position outside of the
body makes sure they stay a few degrees cooler than the inside of the
body, which is necessary for sperm production.
"I wouldn't say that if someone starts to use laptops they will become
infertile," Sheynkin told Reuters Health. But frequent use might
contribute to reproductive problems, he said, because "the scrotum
doesn't have time to cool down."
According to the American Urological Association, nearly one in six
couples in the US have trouble conceiving a baby, and about half the
time the man is at the root of the problem.
Both general health and lifestyle factors such as nutrition and drug
use can influence reproductive health.
However, Sheynkin said tight jeans and briefs are generally not
considered a risk factor.
"Clothes should not significantly change scrotal temperature, because
you are moving around," he said.
To hold a laptop on your knees, however, you need to sit still with
your legs closed. After one hour in this position, the researchers
found that men's testicle temperature had risen by up to 2.5 C.
A lap pad kept the computer cool and also made sure less heat was
transmitted to the skin. But it didn't do much to cool the testicles,
and might give "a false sense of security," according to Sheynkin.
"It doesn't matter what pad you use," he said. "You can put a pillow
beneath your computer and it still won't protect you."
As it turned out, leg position played a far bigger role. When the men
sat with their legs spread wide -- made possible only by placing the
computer on a large lap pad -- they could keep their testicles cooler.
But it still took less than 30 minutes before they began overheating.
"No matter what you do, even with the legs spread wide apart, the
temperature is still going to be higher than what we call safe," said
Belkin International, Inc., which sells lap pads and other electronics
accessories, did not wish to comment on the new findings.
Dr. James F. Smith, a urologist at the University of California, San
Francisco, cautioned that a clear impact of laptop use on fertility
had still not been shown, and that it probably didn't play a big role.
Still, he added in an e-mail to Reuters Health, heating up the scrotum
is likely to be bad for sperm production. He often asks patients that
he sees for infertility if they use a laptop and, if so, suggests that
they spread their legs periodically or place the computer on a desk.
Dr. Smith said the consequences of continued overheating of the
testicles -- so-called scrotal hyperthermia -- probably weren't
permanent, but might take months to go away.
"When interested in maximizing fertility potential," he advised,
"minimize harmful exposures, eat a healthy diet and exercise
Copyright 2010 Thomson Reuters