The truth about some hot topics in male fertility – laptops, cell phones, spas, saunas and cycling
There’s no better time than June, Men’s Health Month, for your Southern California fertility center to debunk four male fertility myths. We offer the truth about using laptops and cell phones, sitting in saunas and hot tubs, and bicycling.
Myth 1: Using laptops and cell phones is fine. Everyone uses them.
Reality: Using a laptop, especially with a Wi-Fi connection, can be a male fertility risk. A Fertility and Sterility study examined nearly 30 sperm samples that were stored normally or under a laptop with a wireless connection. Sperm in the laptop sample had decreased motility and more DNA damage. Cell phone emissions are also problematic. Eight of nine studies reviewed by the University of California-Berkley showed that cell phones, especially when kept in pant pockets, caused lower sperm counts.
Myth 2: A little time in a hot tub or sauna is relaxing and safe.
Reality: Exposure to high temperatures is a male fertility risk. The greater the exposure, the greater the risk. It can take up to three months to recover sperm counts after an exposure to high temperatures.
Myth 3: Riding a bike is okay if you stay on smooth surfaces.
Reality: Cycling is good exercise, but a male fertility risk. In one study, men who rode a bicycle for more than 90 minutes a week had 34% lower sperm concentrations than men who didn’t ride. Staying on smooth surfaces reduces but doesn’t preclude injuries to the testes or help men avoid damaging high temperatures from pressure on the scrotum.
Myth 4: Maintaining your fertility requires worry and sacrifice.
Reality: Some planning can help you manage fertility risks. Our Southern California fertility center suggests that you place your computer on a desktop and keep your cell phone away from you when you’re not using it. Also, avoid, or greatly limit, time in hot tubs and saunas, and cool off often if you use these. Does the benefit of the activity justify the risk? There are many ways to relax, and good alternatives to bicycling for exercise while TTC.