Crossing your legs boys !
Cycling is a great low-impact exercise, which is ideal for many, as there is much less pressure on joints and is much less
But can putting in miles in the saddle cause temporary erectile difficulties in males?
A Harvard Special Health Report, Erectile Dysfunction: How medication, lifestyle changes, and other therapies can help you conquer this issue, Reported that in certain circumstances, bike riding can damage nerves and compress arteries in the penis, which may lead to erectile problems. The risk was highest among men who cycled more than three hours a week. So thinking particularity about those long 100 mile rides on a sunny Sunday.
The saddle places a constant pressure on the perineum—the area between the genitals and anus. This pressure can harm nerves and temporarily slow blood flow, which causes tingling or numbness in the penis and, eventually, ED. (Erectile dysfunction)
How serious an issue is this ?
A 2014 study in the Journal of Men's Health found that cycling did not pose a serious threat of ED or infertility. The researchers had about 5,300 male cyclists complete questionnaires that asked how many hours per week they rode and whether, within the past five years, they had experienced symptoms of ED, or been diagnosed with infertility. The results found no clear connection between high amounts of cycling and ED or infertility, however there was still a risk.
There are some areas to consider to help reduce the risk.
Saddle shape. One study in European Urology found that narrow seats and narrow seats with a V-shape in the saddle nose decreased oxygen to penis by 82.4% and 72.4%, respectively. Get a saddle to fit your sit bones size, if it is to be padded chose a gel to absorb the impact of the ride. Also a seat with a nose length no longer than 6 centimetres, suggests a 2014 study in Applied Ergonomics.
Handlebar height. A study in The Journal of Urology found handlebar height parallel with or higher than the saddle increased the risk of ED compared with handlebars height lower than saddle height. Visit a local bike shop to get properly fitted. This will ensure you have the ideal handlebar height that places minimal pressure on the perineum.
Bike type. Another study found that riding a recumbent bike, did not cause the same dramatic drop in oxygen supply to the penis that riding a conventional bicycle did, during that time. However lets be honest who wants to ride one of those !
Be mindful that if you feel tingling or numbness in your penis after rides, stop riding for a week or two. These are warning signs that your cycling could lead to erectile problems. Also, always take regular breaks during long rides and wear proper padded bike shorts as well as chamois cream, to prevent friction rubs.