Male Cyclists Should Stand to Avoid 'Crushing' Genitals During Rides, Study Says

·2 min read
Photo credit: Compassionate Eye Foundation/David Oxberry - Getty Images
Photo credit: Compassionate Eye Foundation/David Oxberry - Getty Images

It's no secret that the life of a regular cyclist can be a dangerous one — from heavy traffic to faulty equipment — but researchers are now bringing a new threat into the fray: warning male cyclists to stand more during long rides to avoid 'crushing' private parts.

The researchers reviewed 22 studies on saddle soreness and explored the best possible solutions, including a unique 'no-nose' seat that focus on redirecting pressure from male cyclist's genitals.

The study review, from Wroclaw Medical University in Poland, was published in the journal Sports Medicine and correlated genital numbness with poor riding technique and, often, the wrong type of bicycle.

"There is a suggestion that nerve damage from the pressure of cycling can cause loss of sensation and problems with erections," Dr Ippokratis Sarris, a consultant in reproductive medicine, explained to the Daily Mail. "Cycling is linked to infertility, but much more research is needed."

Similarly, Kamil Litwinowicz, the review's lead author at Wroclaw Medical University, explains that "many men struggle with discomfort when riding a bike and there are concerns this can lead to sexual problems.

"However there is also strong evidence that being sedentary is linked to erectile dysfunction, so cycling as a form of activity could reduce that risk. We don’t want men to quit cycling, but instead to look at things like standing on the pedals or using a different saddle."

Litwinowicz's comments follow a similar scientific review of six studies that found male cyclists had twice the chance of developing erectile dysfunction issues, as bicycle seats can put pressure on nerves and slow down blood flow.

Conversely, other studies have found no link between numbness — caused by regular cycling — and erectile dysfunction. With 91 per cent of male cyclists regularly experiencing numbness, the evidence needed to link it with erectile dysfunction remains mixed.

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