If you spend a lot of time with a notebook in your lap, you’ve probably worried about the health risks at least once — especially if you can sense that your laptop is running a bit warm near your tender regions.
You might have even panicked a bit as you heard your laptop’s fans spin up into overdrive, asking yourself, “Can the heat from a computer cause infertility?” Worry not. The answer is a resounding no, though men concerned about their actual sperm count may still want to keep a little distance between their laptop and their crotch.
The Verge recently spoke to a few different fertility doctors, and they all tended to agree that there is no evidence that laptops cause infertility. Zilch. Zippo.
In this regard, women have it the easiest — ovaries are protected inside one’s body, after all. If your laptop gets warm enough to affect them, your pants are also probably going to be on fire. We kid, but it’s also true that pregnant women should avoid applying any unnecessary heat to their babies, and that includes the heat from a laptop. Keep that in mind.
For men, the situation gets a little more complicated. Using a laptop isn’t going to melt your testicles. However, even a slight change in temperature (as little as two degrees, according to Time) can lead to fertility issues and a 2005 study found that laptops can raise your lap temperature by up to 2.8°C.
Of course, that’s when laptops were the size of briefcases and had much less cooling potential than they do today. Still, you might not want to have a marathon 4K gaming session on your lap. Consider going back to your trusty desk or, at the very least, sit cross-legged and keep your knees apart to avoid trapping any heat from the laptop around your nether regions.
And if someone told you that using a laptop on your lap is going to give you Homer Simpson-like levels of radiation, tell them to go away. Multiple doctors told The Verge that’s a complete non-issue.
The amount of radiation released by your laptop is the same amount you’re exposed to when you fly across the country — or even just walk around outside.