Can Cycling Increase the Risk of Erectile Dysfunction?
Bicycles are popular for recreation, sport, and transportation. They are fun and practical, but can also have negative effects–if you are a man.
If you have ever gone on a ride and got off the bike with a numbness or tingling in the groin, then you have experienced the first warning signs of receiving injuries to nerves and arteries in that region. Prolonged riding can lead to erectile dysfunction.
Why Cycling is a Potential Health Risk
A survey conducted by a Denver low T doctor revealed that professional mountain bikers have lower testosterone levels than their non-cycling male counterparts. This is likely due to the fact that professional riders spend long hours biking, and mountain bikers in particular receive additional impact to the groin while riding.
Though recreational riders (less than 3,000 miles per year) are at lower risk for decreased testosterone levels, riding a bike always has the potential to damage the male reproductive organ.
For one, the tight shorts associated with biking restrict blood flow to the testes, thereby reducing hormone production. Constant jostling and pressure from sitting also contribute to damage of the perineum, the area between the scrotum and anus that contains nerves and arteries connected to the penis. The more trauma the testes and the perineum receive, the more negative effects a man is likely to experience.
Trauma to the testes can cause the body to produce an excess of gonadal steroids, which then inhibits the release of chemicals that stimulate the production of sperm and testosterone. The result: lower testosterone levels and sperm counts.
Compressed arteries in the perineum can cause erectile dysfunction, even in young men. Men who ride more than three hours per week place themselves at higher risk for nerve damage, which can eventually lead to impotency.
The Silver Lining
All that being said, experts who provide Denver ED therapy have good news for men who enjoy bike riding but also want to keep their virility.
The erectile dysfunction caused by cycling is usually temporary and reversible. It may be difficult to become erect after a bike ride because of pinched nerves or compressed arteries, but once the nerves heal and the blood flow returns to normal, normal erectile functioning resumes.
If problems persist, getting a better-fitted bike or a softer, wider seat may help relieve the discomfort and pressure that causes ED. Taking frequent breaks or standing on the pedals are also ways to maintain normal blood flow through the perineum during a ride.
Other little tips include wearing padded shorts, buying a full-suspension bike, and angling the seat downward (decreasing the amount of pressure and friction).
Also, men need to put the risks of ED into perspective. Health issues like cardiovascular disease and diabetes have a much higher likelihood of causing long-term, irreversible damage. As long as cyclists exercise caution and take necessary preventative steps, there is no reason why riding a bike can’t be a great way to burn calories and reduce the risk of ED—rather than instigate it.
If you are interested in cycling as a way to lose weight and decrease the risk of low testosterone, talk to a professional at the Denver weight loss clinic. A doctor can help you determine the best way to use your bike for good, rather than evil!