Men beware: According to new evidence, the digital age may be affecting your fertility.
A recent study reveals men who use WI-FI connected laptops that are placed within an inch of their laps may be lowering their chances of fatherhood.
Researchers measured sperm cells' swimming ability after being exposed to WI-FI radiation from an Internet-connected laptop.
"What they found was that there was a significant decrease in progressively moving spermatozoa. So, there was a significant drop in the number of spermatozoa that moved faster and in a straight movement," explained Dr. Ashok Agarwal, a urologist at The Cleveland Clinic.
Sperm motility is a factor in successful pregnancies; the chances of fertilizing an egg are much higher if more than 40 percent of sperm are moving.
Exposure to the WI-FI's radiation also damaged sperm DNA. Poor-quality DNA can reduce a couple's chances of conceiving.
While scientists note that more studies are needed, Dr. Agarwal says men should watch the clock when using a laptop's WI-FI. He suggests they not use it for more than four hours at a time.
"I think if a person is using it for one or two hours, I don't think it will be a real concern, at least in the fertility of that person," he adds.
Limiting laptop Internet use may not be the only way for men to improve fertility -- making simple lifestyle choices like eating fruits and vegetables, exercising, and managing stress can also increase your chances of producing healthy sperm.
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