Seyed Mohamad Javad Mortazavi Corresponding Author
1- Department of Radiobiology, School of Paramedical Sciences, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran
2- Radiological Sciences Research Center, School of Paramedical Sciences, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran
Alireza Tavassoli
- Department of Pathology, Shiraz Blood Transfusion Organization, Shiraz, Iran
Fahimeh Ranjbar
- Radiological Sciences Research Center, School of Paramedical Sciences, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran
Parichehr Moammaiee
- Radiological Sciences Research Center, School of Paramedical Sciences, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

Received: 4/7/2010 Accepted: 7/31/2010 - Publisher : Avicenna Research Institute

Related Articles


Other Format



Background: Laptop computers are known sources of electromagnetic field and as the name implies a number of people use these computers frequently on their laps. To date, there seems to be only reports on the thermal effects of these devices on spermatogenesis in a laptop position. This study aimed to investigate the bioeffects of electromagnetic fields induced by laptop computers on rat spermatogenesis after blocking its thermal effects. Methods: Thirty inbred Wistar rats (200–250 g) were randomly divided into a control and three experiment groups. The magnetic field strength of the lap-side of a computer was measured (in an upside down position) at different areas by using a TES 1390 EMF tester and marked it with an appropriate marker. The maximum magnetic field strength was 1.15 µT. Animals in the test groups (21) were kept on the marked area on a thermal shield 7 hours a day for one week. The controls (9) were kept on a switched-off laptop for the same period. Subsequently, the animals were sacrificed and sperm parameters such as count, motility and morphology were analyzed. Non-parametric tests such as Mann Whitney U and Kruskal-Wallis tests were used to compare the results between the experimental groups and the controls. Results: A significant and correlated decrease was seen in sperm motility parallel to the increase in the magnetic field. Sperm motility was divided into four groups (A to D), A exhibiting the highest and D the lowest motility. The relative frequency of group D sperms (immotile sperms) exposed to background, moderate, high and very high magnetic fields were 17%, 31%, 29%, and 68% and the relative frequency of sperm in class C sperms (non-progressive sperms) exposed to background, moderate, high and very high magnetic fields were 52%, 43%, 51% and 16%, respectively. After merging sperms in classes C and D, the relative frequencies of sperms in animals exposed to the background, moderate, high and very high magnetic fields were 69%, 74%, 80% and 84%, respectively. Although, the lowest sperm count was observed in animals exposed to the highest magnetic field but this difference was not significant. Conclusion: There seems that sperm count and motility decrease as the magnetic field strength increases. In this light, magnetic fields induced by laptop computers may decrease sperm count and sperm motility, ultimately affecting male reproductive capabilities. It is advisable to limit the time these devices are used in a laptop position.

Keywords: Electromagnetic field, Laptop computers, Male infertility, Rat, Spermatogenesis

To cite this article:

Figures, Charts, Tables


  1. Thonneau P, Bujan L, Multigner L, Mieusset R. Occupational heat exposure and male fertility: a review. Hum Reprod. 1998;13(8):2122-5   [PubMed]
  2. Mohr MR, Scott KA, Pariser RM, Hood AF. Laptop computer-induced erythema ab igne: a case report. Cutis. 2007;79(1):59-60.   [PubMed]
  3. Levinbook WS, Mallett J, Grant-Kels JM. Laptop computer--associated erythema ab igne. Cutis. 2007; 80(4):319-20.   [PubMed]
  4. Paulius K, Napoles P, Maguina P. Thigh burn associated with laptop computer use. J Burn Care Res. 2008;29(5):842-4.   [PubMed]
  5. Ostenson CG. Lap burn due to laptop computer. Lancet. 2002;360(9346):1704.   [PubMed]
  6. Sheynkin Y, Jung M, Yoo P, Schulsinger D, Komaroff E. Increase in scrotal temperature in laptop computer users. Hum Reprod. 2005;20(2):452-5.   [PubMed]
  7. WHO: World Health Organization [Internet]. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2010. Electromagnetic fields; 2010 [cited 2010 May 28]; [about 1 screen]. Available from: http://www.who.int/pehemf/about/WhatisEMF/en/index3.html
  8. Gilbaugh JH 3rd, Lipshultz LI. Nonsurgical treatment of male infertility. Urol Clin North Am. 1994; 21(3):531-48.   [PubMed]
  9. Carlsen E, Giwercman A, Keiding N, Skakkebaek NE. Evidence for decreasing quality of semen during past 50 years. BMJ. 1992;305(6854):609-13.   [PubMed]
  10. Olsen GW, Bodner KM, Ramlow JM, Ross CE, Lipshultz LI. Have sperm counts been reduced 50 percent in 50 years? A statistical model revisited. Fertil Steril. 1995;63(4):887-93.   [PubMed]
  11. Fisch H, Goluboff ET, Olson JH, Feldshuh J, Broder SJ, Barad DH. Semen analyses in 1,283 men from the United States over a 25-year period: no decline in quality. Fertil Steril. 1996;65(5): 1009-14.   [PubMed]
  12. Lerchl A, Nieschlag E. Decreasing sperm counts? A critical (re)view. Exp Clin Endocrinol Diabetes. 1996;104(4):301-7.   [PubMed]
  13. Swan SH, Elkin EP, Fenster L. Have sperm densities declined? A reanalysis of global trend data. Environ Health Perspect. 1997;105(11):1228-32.   [PubMed]
  14. Jegou B, Auger J, Multinger L, Pineau C, Thonneau P, Spira A, et al. The saga of the sperm count decrease in humans, wild and farm animals. In: Gagnon C, editor. The Male Gamete, from Basic Science to Clinical Applications. USA: Cache River Press; 1999. p.445-54.
  15. Figà-Talamanca I, Dell'Orco V, Pupi A, Dondero F, Gandini L, Lenzi A, et al. Fertility and semen quality of workers exposed to high temperatures in the ceramics industry. Reprod Toxicol. 1992;6(6): 517-23.   [PubMed]
  16. Mieusset R, Bujan L. Testicular heating and its possible contributions to male infertility: a review. Int J Androl. 1995;18(4):169-84.   [PubMed]
  17. Toppari J, Larsen JC, Christiansen P, Giwercman A, Grandjean P, Guillette LJ Jr, et al. Male reproductive health and environmental xenoestrogens. Environ Health Perspect. 1996;104 Suppl 4:741-803.   [PubMed]
  18. Liu YX. Temperature control of spermatogenesis and prospect of male contraception. Front Biosci (Schol Ed). 2010;2:730-55.   [PubMed]
  19. Bujan L, Daudin M, Charlet JP, Thonneau P, Mieusset R. Increase in scrotal temperature in car drivers. Hum Reprod. 2000;15(6):1355-7.   [PubMed]
  20. Rozati R, Reddy PP, Reddanna P, Mujtaba R. Role of environmental estrogens in the deterioration of male factor fertility. Fertil Steril. 2002;78(6):1187-94.   [PubMed]
  21. Mortazavi SM, Ahmadi J, Shariati M. Prevalence of subjective poor health symptoms associated with exposure to electromagnetic fields among university students. Bioelectromagnetics. 2007;28(4): 326-30.   [PubMed]
  22. Mortazavi SM, Daiee E, Yazdi A, Khiabani K, Kavousi A, Vazirinejad R, et al. Mercury release from dental amalgam restorations after magnetic resonance imaging and following mobile phone use. Pak J Biol Sci. 2008;11(8):1142-6.   [PubMed]
  23. Mortazavi SMJ, Habib A, Ganj-Karimi AH, Samimi-Doost R, Pour-Abedi A, Babaie A. Alterations in TSH and thyroid hormones following mobile phone use. Iran J Med Sci. 2009;34(4):299-300.   [Abstract]
  24. Mortazavi SMJ, Nazer M, Sayyadi AR, Karimi H. The effect of microwave radiation emitted by mobile phones on human short term memory. J Rafsanjan Univ Med Sci. 2008;7(4):251-8.
  25. Mortazavi SMJ, Yazdi A, Khiabani K, Kavousi A. The effect of exposure to electromagnetic fields due to magnetic resonance imaging on mercury release from dental amalgam restorations. J Dentistry. 2008;20(1):53-60.
  26. Mortazavi SMJ, Daiee E, Ghasemi M, Balali Mood M. Mercury release from dental amalgam restorations after exposure to microwave radiation emitted from mobile phones. J Birjand Univ Med Sci. 2008;15(2):19-29.   [Abstract]
  27. Mortazavi SMJ, Atefi M, Bagheri Sh, Bahaedini N, Besharati A, Eslami J. The ability of GSM mobile phone users in detecting exposure to electromagnetic fields and the bioeffects of these fields on their vital signs. J Kerman Univ Med Sci. 2010;17 (3):257-67.
  28. Bahaedini N, Atefi M, Mortazavi SMJ. Evaluation of the interference of the microwave radiation emitted from GSM mobile phones on the performance. Med Lab J. 2009;2(2):10-7.   [Abstract]
  29. Gonzales GF, Nieto J, Rubio J, Gasco M. Effect of black maca (Lepidium meyenii) on one spermatogenic cycle in rats. Andrologia. 2006;38(5):166-72.   [PubMed]
  30. Seed J, Chapin RE, Clegg ED, Dostal LA, Foote RH, Hurtt ME, et al. Methods for assessing sperm motility, morphology, and counts in the rat, rabbit, and dog: a consensus report. ILSI Risk Science Institute Expert Working Group on Sperm Evaluation. Reprod Toxicol. 1996;10(3):237-44.   [PubMed]
  31. Roychoudhury S, Jedlicka J, Parkanyi V, Rafay J, Ondruska L, Massanyi P, et al. Influence of a 50 hz extra low frequency electromagnetic field on spermatozoa motility and fertilization rates in rabbits. J Environ Sci Health A Tox Hazard Subst Environ Eng. 2009;44(10):1041-7.   [PubMed]
  32. Iorio R, Scrimaglio R, Rantucci E, Delle Monache S, Di Gaetano A, Finetti N, et al. A preliminary study of oscillating electromagnetic field effects on human spermatozoon motility. Bioelectromagnetics. 2007;28(1):72-5.   [PubMed]
  33. Al-Akhras MA, Darmani H, Elbetieha A. Influence of 50 Hz magnetic field on sex hormones and other fertility parameters of adult male rats. Bioelectromagnetics. 2006;27(2):127-31.   [PubMed]
  34. Heredia-Rojas JA, Caballero-Hernandez DE, Rodriguez-de la Fuente AO, Ramos-Alfano G, Rodriguez-Flores LE. Lack of alterations on meiotic chromosomes and morphological characteristics of male germ cells in mice exposed to a 60 Hz and 2.0 mT magnetic field. Bioelectromagnet-ics. 2004;25(1):63-8.   [PubMed]
  35. Emedicine [Internet]. USA: WebMD LLC; 1994-2010. Erythema Ab Igne; 2010 Apr 23 [cited 2010]; [about 5 screens]. Available from: http:// emedicine.medscape.com/article/1087535-overview
  36. Ostenson CG. Lap burn due to laptop computer. Lancet. 2002;360(9346):1704.   [PubMed]
  37. Thaunat O, Morelon E. Laptop computer-induced thigh burn. Burns. 2010;36(4):586-7.   [PubMed]
  38. Li DK, Yan B, Li Z, Gao E, Miao M, Gong D, et al. Exposure to magnetic fields and the risk of poor sperm quality. Reprod Toxicol. 2010;29(1):86-92.   [PubMed]
  39. Bernabò N, Tettamanti E, Russo V, Martelli A, Turriani M, Mattoli M, et al. Extremely low frequency electromagnetic field exposure affects fertilization outcome in swine animal model. Theriogenology. 2010;73(9):1293-305.   [PubMed]


Home | About Us | Current Issue | Past Issues | Submit a Manuscript | Instructions for Authors | Subscribe | Search | Contact Us

"Journal of Reproduction & Infertility" is owned, published, and managed by Avicenna Research Institute .
Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution –NonCommercial 4.0 International License which allows users to read, copy, distribute and make derivative works for non-commercial purposes from the material, as long as the author of the original work is cited properly.

Journal of Reproductoin and Infertility (JRI) is a member of COMMITTEE ON PUBLICATION ETHICS . Verify here .

©2024 - eISSN : 2251-676X, ISSN : 2228-5482, For any comments and questions please contact us.