He may appeal to the eyes, but what is all that computer use doing to his sperm?
Infertility is a family affair. In the Middle East, the matter is often more than a medical concern. Larger families are the norm and in certain communities (for example, the more religious), a sign of honor and prestige. Couples trying to conceive without success must rule out male infertility as one of the culprits.
Male infertility can be a result of several factors including low sperm count, sperm that are immotile (don’t swim properly to reach the female egg) or sperm with altered DNA (DNA fragmentation). Successful fertilization depends on sperm being able to reach and penetrate the egg, but globally, fertility rates are declining, with many speculations about why sperm counts and sperm health are shrinking.
Environmental toxins are often cited as one cause. A new study to be published in Fertility and Sterility points out to a common occurrence in our tech-heavy lifestyles – wireless laptop (WiFi) use.
The study, Use of laptop computers connected to internet through Wi-Fi decreases human sperm motility and increases sperm DNA fragmentation (Vol. 97), sought to evaluate the effects of using laptop computers connected to local area networks on human sperm. The researchers collected semen samples from 29 healthy donors, and identified motile sperm. Healthy sperm samples were divided up, with one half exposed to an internet connected laptop for 4 hours, and the controls kept under identical conditions without WiFi exposure.
The result of their small-scale study showed that the WiFi exposed sperm showed a significant decrease in progressive sperm motility and an increase in DNA fragmentation.
While further research needs to be conducted, they speculate that keeping your testes near a wireless computer may result in less than motile sperm, i.e., another environmentally-linked insult to a man’s sexual health.
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Tinamarie is a regular contributor to Greenprophet.com. She also blogs at www.tinamariebernard.com.