Laptop WiFi may affect men's sperm

Nov. 29, 2011 at 5:33 PM
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CORDOBA, Argentina, Nov. 29 (UPI) -- Sperm exposed to a wireless Internet-connected laptop exhibited reduced motility and suffered DNA fragmentation, researchers in Argentina found.

Conrado Avendano of Nascentis Medicina Reproductiva in Cordoba and colleagues said the study involved semen samples from 29 healthy donors that were divided into two groups.

One-half of the sperm was exposed in the laboratory to a WiFi-connected laptop for 4 hours; the other half was used as a control without being exposed to the laptop, Avendano said.

The study, published in the journal Fertility and Sterility, found the sperm samples exposed to laptop WiFi showed a significant decrease in progressive sperm motility -- the ability to move spontaneously and actively, consuming energy in the process -- and an increase in sperm DNA fragmentation.

However, levels of dead sperm showed no significant differences between the two groups, Avendano said.

"To our knowledge, this is the first study to evaluate the direct impact of laptop use on human spermatozoa. Ex vivo exposure of human spermatozoa to a wireless Internet-connected laptop decreased motility and induced DNA fragmentation by a non-thermal effect," Avendano and colleagues said in the study.

"We speculate that keeping a laptop connected wirelessly to the Internet on the lap near the testes may result in decreased male fertility. Further in vitro and in vivo studies are needed to prove this contention."

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