January 14, 2018
Cycling is a great way to exercise but some men worry about the activity’s supposed negative impacts on the male sexual and urinary functions, particularly when it comes to erectile function.
However, a new study finds that there is no reason to worry and researchers even gave a few tips on how to reduce genital numbness and saddle sores.
There is great news for men who would love to try cycling but are worried about its previously reported negative impacts on sexual and urinary function. A new study found that contrary to previous studies, cycling actually has no negative impacts on such important functions whether the activity is done leisurely or in high intensity.
The largest multinational study to date gathered over 3,900 survey responses from men, of whom over 2,000 are cyclists, 539 were swimmers, and 789 were runners. The swimmers and runners were gathered as a comparison group, and the cyclists were further divided into low and high-intensity cyclists.
Data was gathered using multiple validated questionnaires about prostate, urinary tract, urethra, and sexual health symptoms as well as questionnaires on saddle sores and genital numbness.
Researchers found that cyclists’ sexual and urinary health was actually comparable to that of swimmers and runners whose activity of choice does not involve perineal pressure. Although some of the cyclists were seen to be more prone to urethral stricture or restriction, it was quite interesting to find that high-intensity cyclists even had better erectile function scores compared to low-intensity cyclists.
Researchers found that neither the bicycle itself nor the road conditions on which they ride have any negative impact on the cyclists. What’s more, researchers found that simply standing 20 percent of the time while cycling could reduce the chances of genital numbness, while adjusting the handlebar to be higher or even with the saddle lowered the chances of both sores and numbness.
A 2017 study previously found that those who cycled to work had lower rates of heart disease and cancer compared to other types of commuters. That, along with the results of current study, is good news for those who want to try cycling.
Apparently, this activity has been increasing in popularity as a means of exercise and transportation. As such, researchers believe that the benefits of cycling still far outweigh the possible health risks.
“We believe the results will be encouraging for cyclists,” said Benjamin Breyer, MD, MAS of the University of California-San Francisco, lead investigator of the current study.
The study is published in The Journal of Urology.