Is laptop heat bad for you? It’s a question on the rise, and more people are rightly wondering if their laptop usage habits are scuppering their chances of having kids.
If you’ve ever felt the heat from a laptop and wondered if it was actually a good idea to have that heat pumping into your lap… you’d be right to be concerned. And laptops give off much more than just heat.
So let’s have a look at the heat from laptops, what else laptops radiate, and what you can do about it!
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Is Laptop Heat Bad For You?
Have you ever had second thoughts about putting a laptop in your lap because of the heat it was kicking out? It’s a sound instinct – your body is telling you to move this hot object away from your body!
Laptops are placed in a pretty sensitive area of our bodies, for both men and women. The ovaries, testes and other reproductive organs are right there, right next to your laptop that’s kicking out some serious heat and other radiation.
Doesn’t seem right on paper, does it?!
But what do the facts say?
Heat and Fertility: What Does the Evidence Say?
There’s some strong evidence to support the claim that laptop heat adversely affects sperm and egg production, lowering our fertility.
The male testicles are exceptionally good are maintaining their temperature. They tend to hover around the 35˚C (95 F) mark. This regulation is performed by the cremaster muscle and has evolved to keep the testes cool.
The evolutionary purpose of this highly tuned temperature regulating mechanism is because sperm are very temperature sensitive. McGill University state that increases of just a few degrees can inhibit sperm production and ultimately lead to infertility. A study published in the Journal of Reproductive Medicine and Biology found that the testes were particularly sensitive to heat, again reinforcing that changes of just a few degrees can make all the difference to fertility. This study had participants raise their scrotal temperature to around the 40˚C mark for just 30 minutes every week, the follow-ups found a marked drop in sperm count.
Harvard Health shared an anecdote of one of their scientists who was fond of taking very warm regular baths. He and his wife didn’t conceive for many months before he ceased this habit, they later conceived 4 children. Of course, the correlation here doesn’t infer causation but it’s one of numerous anecdotes that seem to document the real-world impact of scrotal heating.
This research has been applied in a number of ways, e.g. one study found sperm was impaired in men who spent too long in hot tubs. It was found to be reversible in only half of men that ceased this activity.
Whilst you might assume that infertility caused by heating is temporary, permanent damage and ongoing declines in sperm quantity and motility are possible. It’s also thought that excessive heat exposure to the testes earlier in life can cause permanent infertility issues later in life.
Studies have shown that heat can also negatively impact ovarian function and egg production in females. Heat both inhibits the growth of eggs whilst also stressing the ovaries. It’s thought that higher heat concentrations disturb the function of reproductive hormones, in turn negatively impacting reproductive function.
There is less research into the negative effects of heat on female fertility than there is into male fertility, in humans at least. However, research into heat stress for several other species including hens and cattle have led scientists to call for an increase in research on the effects of heat on the female reproductive system.
This could also reveal whether heat has any bearing on the development of the child, including any possible genetic abnormalities.
Regardless of whether the effect is greater in men or women, overall fertility decreases due to heating and the effects may be permanent.
Whilst women are likely at risk, the impacts of heat on male sperm are well-documented.
Laptops: A Possible Culprit for Infertility?
Laptops clearly get warm, pumping out both heat and electromagnetic radiation. The harder they work, the hotter they get. Some powerful laptops can get very hot – far hotter than the temperatures studied in relation to sperm production.
Studies and medical news reports published in Medical News Today and Very Well Health have assessed the effects of laptop heat on sperm, generally concluding that it could directly cause infertility if left unchecked.
One study concisely named The Fundamental Reasons Why Laptop Computers should not be Used on Your Lap states that the heat emitted by laptops in combination with electromagnetic radiation emissions is potentially catastrophic for sperm production. The highlight at least one 2006 study that found highly elevated scrotal temperatures in participants that used laptops on their laps for at least 60 minutes.
For women, views are mixed, largely due to scepticism that the heat from a laptop would fail to penetrate the skin to the ovaries. But, given studies into how heat can indeed stress the ovaries and other reproductive systems, concern remains and further studies are required to clarify whether or not laptop heating impacts female fertility.
In short, yes, laptops are a possible culprit for infertility – and they could be a major one.
Depending on your laptop’s make, model, design, and age, it might give off more or less heat. In order to keep laptops slim they often don’t have sufficiently sized – or any – fans. Cooling technology can be expensive and unable to keep up with the heat the laptop is putting out.
Older laptops can give off a lot of heat as they whir away, working harder at the edge of their abilities. Very powerful laptops pushing their limits can also get very hot. Moreover, some get much hotter when they’re being charged.
It’s also worth noting that placing your laptop on your lap is bad for the laptop too as airflow to the fan will be poor. It’s also probably pretty bad for your posture.
In the end, it’s intuitive to understand why laptops shouldn’t be on your lap. There are just too many possibilities – too many risks – and it’s just not worth it.
More Than Just Laptop Heat
Heat is a form of radiation that moves from your laptop’s hot interior into your body, but it’s not the only form of radiation emitted by laptops.
Like heat, your laptop also produces electromagnetic radiation. All electrical devices produce some level of EMF – electromagnetic frequencies. Electromagnetic radiation is also a key feature of WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity, which are forms of radiation in their own right. If we’re considering is laptop heat bad for you then we must consider EMF as well as heat radiation.
For those who don’t know, EMF radiation is a form of radiation generated by electrical circuits. All electrical circuits produce it to varying degrees, but this form of radiation is non-ionising, so was traditionally not associated with the same level of harm as ionising radiation (e.g. gamma rays, X-rays, etc). Ionising radiation can be extremely damaging to our bodies, but research now indicates that previously innocent non-ionising EMF radiation could also damage our bodies.
Of course, you can’t see, smell, feel or hear EMF radiation and you can’t react to it as easily as you can react to laptop heat. But, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t there.
EMFs have been researched relatively intensively in the last few years and many studies have established clear links with various forms of cellular damage, including damage to sperm at least.
Laptops pump out a good deal of EMF radiation, so, it doesn’t take much to put two and two together here and realise that laptop heat combined with EMF radiation = a toxic combination for reproductive health.
So what can you do about it?
What Can You Do About Laptop Heat?
If your laptop is too hot for comfort then you could consider upgrading to one with better fans and cooling. Sudden, extreme heating can indicate overheating problems that should be assessed by a technician. The fans and vents can be cleaned by yourself or a professional using an airduster, which might help in some situations. You can also add cooling gel, a heat sink, or other cooling technology. Cooling pads are another option.
That might cool your laptop down but is unlikely to completely eliminate the heat. And it won’t do anything about electromagnetic radiation either, which is another massive issue in the mix.
WaveWall has the answer.
Our anti-EMF products block electromagnetic radiation by up to 85% and the two laptop pads we offer also work well to insulate your body from heat.
The WaveWall Laptop is an anti-radiation case that you can use to transport and protect your laptop. When using your laptop put it on top of the case to block radiation and heat. The WaveWall Pad is a protective shield – a pad to sit between you and your laptop.
It doesn’t take much to protect yourself from laptop heat and EMF. Clearly, this is well worth doing as it’s entirely possible that research has barely scratched the surface of this health time bomb.
As the years roll on and more research comes to light about the impacts of heat and EMF on fertility, you can secure peace of mind in knowing that you were protecting yourself with a WaveWall Pad all along!