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Originally published June 26 2009

Excessive Laptop Computer Use Linked To Male Infertility

by S. L. Baker, features writer

(NaturalNews) It's not only Big Pharma making billions off of the sometimes too-gullible American public. The infertility industry is raking in about two billion dollars a year -- even though many of the costly treatments have dismal success rates ( Instead of trying to find high tech ways to overcome the inability to reproduce, it is clearly smarter, cheaper, and safer to use healthy lifestyle choices to help avoid infertility problems in the first place.

For example, while fatherhood might be far from the minds of most young men, behavior patterns they establish early on may impact their ability to become a dad later in life. A case in point: a reproductive specialist at Loyola University Health System (LUHS) is sounding the alarm that excessive laptop computer threatens sperm production.

About 40 percent of infertility problems are due to problems with the male reproductive system, according to Suzanne Kavic, MD, director of the division of reproductive endocrinology at LUHS and associate professor in the department of obstetrics and gynecology and department of medicine at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. And while spending too much time too close to a laptop may seem an unlikely cause of male fertility, Dr. Kavic says it does happen. "The heat generated from laptops can impact sperm production and development making it difficult to conceive down the road," she explained in a statement for the media.

This doesn't mean guys have to give up their laptops to protect their future as potential fathers, they just have to apply some common sense. Dr. Kavic advises simply placing laptops on desktops to keep the computer's heat from damaging sperm and decreasing sperm counts and motility.

While keeping a safe distance from heat-generating laptops, it is also a good idea to keep cell phones away from reproductive organs. According to a study published last fall in the journal Fertility and Sterility, men who park their cell phones in their pockets or clip them to their belts while using an earpiece to talk risk damaging their sperm. The reason? Cell phones emit radiofrequency electromagnetic waves when in talk mode. That causes higher levels of free radicals in sperm and a reduction in sperm health.

Of course, there are physical issues that cause male infertility, too. Dr. Kavic points out these include enlarged varicose veins in the scrotum, genital injuries or defects, sexually transmitted infections, prostatitis (an infection or inflammation of the prostate), and hormonal disorders. However, there's another important cause that is often totally avoidable -- prescription drugs.

"Medications for depression, blood pressure and certain heart conditions may lower libido or cause impotence," Dr. Kavic explained in the press statement. "Men should talk with their physicians to see if medication is necessary or if they can switch to another with fewer side effects."

Research from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), one of the National Institutes of Health, has also shown keeping weight under control is a way men can take charge of their own health and fertility. The NIEHS study found that overweight men with a body mass index (BMI) over 30 were significantly more likely to be infertile than normal weight men.

Dr. Kavic recommends additional healthy lifestyle measures to protect male fertility including:
• Avoid hot tubs.
• Wear boxer shorts instead of tight briefs.
• Avoid exercise that can generate heat or trauma to the genital area.
• Eat a nutritious diet.
• Take a daily multivitamin.
• Get eight hours of sleep per night.
• Stay hydrated and limit caffeine to no more than two cups per day.
• Don't smoke.
• Avoid drugs and excessive alcohol use.
• Minimize exposure to toxins.
• Practice stress reduction techniques, such as yoga.

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