In women, the answer is almost certainly no. Since eggs are produced in the ovaries, which are inside a woman’s body, heat from a laptop or other external source is not likely to be so intense that it raises your core body temperature enough to damage the ovaries and hurt egg production.
The answer for men is less clear. Sperm are produced in the testicles, which are in the scrotum. Because the scrotum is located outside of the body, it’s more vulnerable to external heat than a woman’s ovaries are. Research suggests that an increase in scrotal temperature may lower sperm production and possibly affect the ability of the sperm to fertilize an egg. That’s why some fertility experts advise men to steer clear of hot tubs, saunas, hot baths, and briefs when they’re trying to get a woman pregnant – they all generate extra heat around the testicles.
In a small study at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, fertility researchers found that men who sat with working laptops on their laps for an hour had an average increase in scrotal temperature of about 5 degrees Fahrenheit, or about 2.7 degrees Celsius. Although the researchers didn’t check whether the temperature increase actually affected the men’s sperm production, previous studies have shown that even an increase of 1 degree Celsius in scrotal temperature can affect the production of healthy sperm.
More research is needed before we can say that laptops definitely have a negative effect on male fertility. Still, while you’re trying to conceive, it’s always better to play it safe. The researchers who conducted the study recommend that men who want to be fathers should work with their laptop on a desk or table, rather than on their lap.