Should Erectile Dysfunction Be a Concern for Cyclists?

There have been rumors swirling around lately in regards to the potential damage cycling can do to a man’s nether regions. The good news is that recent studies which have been published in the Journal of Men’s Health, found that there is no direct link between cycling and the occurrence of erectile dysfunction in men.

This study also further confirmed this by revealing that neither duration of exercise nor frequency of exercise had any impact on the rate of erectile dysfunction among these individuals. The amount of miles they biked and the duration of time had no impact on the potential of developing erectile dysfunction even among athletes who were training for endurance events.

With the good news comes a bit of bad however, as cycling has been found to cause some issues related to a man’s sexual health and health in general. No matter if you’re a man or a woman, if you have ridden a bicycle before you’ve experienced some type of pain from riding too long.

In most cases this results in temporary discomfort, pain and even numbness in some cases. This is an indication of the true damage being done by cycling, which can do damage to the nerves in this area. Many of these problems can be resolved with quick identification and a prompt response. Here is what you should be keeping an eye out for the next time you’re riding a bike.

Saddle Sores

A saddle sore is something that almost everyone has experienced at one point or another during their lives. This term is a blanket term used to describe any type of chafing, sores, or minor infection that comes as the result of using the wrong type of seat. Choosing the right seat can go a long way in helping a man to avoid these problems down the line.

cyclist experiencing pain after cycling, saddle soreThe first step to avoiding this problem is picking a bicycle seat that is comfortable and that fits properly. After you get the right seat, you may want to use some type of lubricant on the inside of your shorts like Vaseline to prevent chafing and irritation. An easy way to avoid ingrown hairs and minor infections is to groom yourself properly, which may require you to avoid shaving along the Speedo line.

Genital Pain or Numbness

The sensation of feeling numb is never a good thing, and is an indication of reduced blood flow and circulation to a particular area of the body. Some people can cycle all day with no pain while others experience numbness very quickly, which is largely to do with how much “padding” they have on their bodies, which can cushion these blood vessels and nerves.

If you are experiencing genital numbness, it is definitely something that you should not ignore as is commonplace among many riders. Many do end up ignoring the numbness because it is more often than not extremely temporary, but can still cause severe damage to the blood vessels and nerves. They have some degree of elasticity to bounce back after being sat on for hours at a time in some cases, but inevitably reach the point of no return.

The key here is to find the correct bike seat, which needs to be done through trial and error. Users should be in a position where the majority of their weight is resting on the lower part of the pelvis. Adjusting handlebar height, angle of the seat or the shape of the seat itself can be a solution to this problem as well.

Testicular pain is another issue in itself, which is a sensation that a cyclist should not be experiencing at all. As is the case with feeling numbness, any sensation of pain during or after cycling isn’t something you should just ignore. There is a nerve which travels through this area called the pudendal nerve, which runs from the genitals to the anus. To avoid this issue you can adjust the seat height, adjust the handle bars, or find a seat which has a better fit.

Should Erectile Dysfunction Be a Concern for Cyclists?

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