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Fertility - Overview | February 26, 2021, 5:49 CST

When Technology Hits Below the Belt

Electronics have been linked to male infertility, but men can take steps to reduce the risks.
Jason Crosby

Written by

Jason Crosby

There’s no getting away from it: Almost everyone uses laptops, cellphones and tablets, both on the job and during their free time. Technology’s benefits are innumerable, but too much reliance on technology brings with it the chance of reproductive harm for men.

The risk, according to studies, comes from heat exposure and electromagnetic frequencies (EMFs) that are given off by tech devices. These risks aren’t entirely avoidable, but they can be reduced.

Product placement

Because most laptops and cellphones are held in close proximity to the groin area when they’re used or carried, the energy emitted from these devices can cause harm to a man’s testicles.

Evidence shows that repeated exposure to EMFs could lead to a drop in sperm quality and quantity. The same study showed that consistently elevated scrotal temperatures from heat given off by laptops could be associated with an observational decline in male fertility. For example, sperm counts in Western countries, where electronics use is highest, have been declining sharply for the past 40 years.

Men who aren’t worried about protecting their sperm or having kids may not have anything to worry about, because EMFs and heat dispersal don’t appear to increase the risk of tumors or abnormal growths.

Ways to prevent harm

You probably can’t completely ditch your laptop, but you can control where you use it. If you tend to crash on a couch or a chair with the laptop nestled between your legs, consider using a table, a desk or even a cushion to support the device. If you tend to carry your cellphone in your pants pocket, try putting it in the pocket of a jacket or a shoulder bag.

Lifestyle changes are also recommended to offset some of the potential concerns from heat and EMFs from electronics.

If you’re looking for the best way to protect your sperm quality and testicle health, the solution is consistent exercise. Routinely working out is the best way to protect reproductive health. To maximize testosterone production from your workout, try weight-bearing exercises for your legs, because they have the largest muscle groups in the body, and leg-focused activities boost hormone growth.

The benefits of working out will provide higher testosterone levels that translate to higher quality sperm.

Exercise counteracts tech

The technology we use to work, relax and stay connected provides a boost to our quality of life. The same, though, cannot be said for tech’s effect on sperm health, with consistent research strengthening the correlation between heavy electronics use and reproductive decline in men.

The best ways to counteract this integral part of the modern lifestyle are to avoid using or carrying tech products near the lap, maintain an exercise program and take more breaks from using devices.

Jason Crosby

Written by

Jason Crosby