Sunday, March 11, 2018

Cycling Causes Erectile Dysfunction And Male Infertility?

Helping hands to catch up
While runners often have to deal will claims that running will ruin their knees or wear them out, cyclists are often told that too much cycling can affect a man's fertility. Truth or myth?

Well, here's a study that should keep the naysayers quiet and let us cyclists keep riding. Researchers from University College London looked at 5282 male cyclists and grouped them into weekly cycling time of below 3.75 hours, 3.76-5.75 hours, 5.76- 8.5 hours and over 8.5 hours.

The authors found no link between cycling many miles a week (even for those  riding more than 8.5 hours), and infertility and erectile dysfunction.
Ventilation holes and to keep pressure of delicate areas
According to the authors, this may be partly attributed to better saddle technology (see picture above) which helps to "relieve pressure on nerves that prevent the uncomfortable 'numbness' that can occur when riding for a long time." 

However, cycling is linked to raised levels of PSA (or prostate specific antigen), which can signal prostate cancer. This is due to pressure from the saddle pressing on the prostate, mildly injuring it  causing inflammation and increasing PSA levels. So cyclists who spend lots of them on the saddle may end up getting unnecessary testing if a mildly raised PSA level is due to cycling and not prostate cancer. Again, before you get paranoid, the authors wrote that further research is necessary and the risk is only high in the most avid cyclists.


Hollingworth M, Harper A and Hamer M (2014). An Observational Study OF Erectile Dysfunction, Infertility, And Prostate Cancer In Regular Cyclists: Cycling For Health UK Study. J Men's Health. 11(2): 75-79.

Just in case you're wondering, I don't use any of those fancy "holey" saddles, even when I was riding 6 days a week before. Here's my saddle.

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