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For the record

Could using Wi-Fi on a laptop leave men infertile?

On Wednesday 30th November there was coverage in the The Telegraph, and the Daily Mail suggesting that a Wi-Fi enabled laptop could leave men infertile, following a study published in the journal Fertility and Sterility.

Here Dr Allan Pacey, Head of Andrology, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, explains why the link drawn by media articles may not be backed up by the study, in which a sample of ejaculated sperm was placed underneath a Wi-Fi enabled laptop and a decrease in sperm quality was observed.

"Ejaculated sperm are particularly sensitive to many factors because outside the body they don't have the protection of the other cells, tissues and fluids in which they are stored before ejaculation. We need large epidemiological studies to determine a link, and to my knowledge these have not yet been performed."

"Men who are concerned about their fertility should not be unduly worried about using laptops with Wi-Fi enabled, although we know from other studies that the bottom of laptops can become incredibly hot and inadvertent testicular heating is a risk factor for poor sperm quality.  There are many reasons to try and use a laptop on a table where possible, and this may in itself ameliorate any theoretical concerns about Wi-Fi."


Avendaño C, Mata A, Sanchez Sarmiento C A et al. Use of laptop computers connected to internet through Wi-Fi decreases human sperm motility and increases sperm DNA fragmentation. Fertility and Sterility doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2011.10.012

Document type: For The Record

Published: 30 November 2011

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