Is your man's laptop lowering your chances for a baby? According to a study from researchers at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, laptops release enough warmth to overheat testicles within 15 minutes, with protective lap pads no help in preventing excess heat exposure.
Published online November 8, 2010, in the journal Fertility and Sterility, the study recruited 29 males to use laptops sitting either with their legs together or apart. Researchers found that the temperature in the scrotum increased by 1 degree in 11 minutes when the men sat with their legs together. Sitting with legs apart (a 70-degree angle) seemed to reduce the amount of time it took heat to reach the testicles, but overheating was still noticed (after about 30 minutes). Protective lap pads used by the men did little to reduce heat exposure.
Researchers speculate that heating the scrotum may impair sperm production and sperm output in men actively trying to conceive, according to an LA Times piece.
What's so wrong with too much warmth? Sperm are stored "outside" the body for a reason. They can't tolerate excessive heat and the testicles' independent structure and considerable surface area keep them safe from the elevated core temperatures inside the body. If you and your man can't figure out why it's taking a little longer to conceive, make sure it's not over-heating that is putting your plans on hold. Consider placing laptops on tabletops to use—or go back to using a desktop computer. Switching from brief underwear to boxer shorts may also give your man a little extra "breathing room."