A poor choice when buying a bicycle can lead to serious health problems for men. Urologist Vinod Nargund of Bartholomew’s and Homerton Hospitals in London warns of this in the British Journal of Urology .
The problems include … numbness in the penis, erection problems and pain sensation and skin irritation in the groin area. Men who cycle a lot even run the risk of impairing the function of their sperm due to a strong increase in temperature in the pelvic area. Mountain bikers are at particularly high risk. Studies have shown that they have higher scrotum abnormalities than road cyclists, Nargund reports. When cycling, the saddle is in direct contact with the perineum with its underlying structures (prostate and the nerves responsible for erection), the author explains.
The contact takes place behind the scrotum, where the nerves and vessels enter. The incidence of genital numbness and erectile dysfunction increases in men who cycle regularly or cover longer distances. Therefore, it is important to take breaks when cycling long distances, says Nargund. The choice of bicycle and saddle plays a crucial role. The bicycle should be adapted to your body size and training condition. Optimal pedal resistance is also important. If this is too high, problems will arise in the groin area, says the urologist. Nargund also advises using padded saddles and trousers.
Note from Dr Keul: There have been similar publications before. Measurements of the blood flow to the penis or clitoris have already been taken. These showed a clear decrease in blood flow when cycling. This affects both men and women. Also, the number of impotences is significantly higher with cycling than, for example, with joggers.
My personal measure:
A recumbent bike
My very personal answer to years of “saddle problems”.
Now I have had the recumbent bike for almost 5 years! I have cycled 6000 km with it so far. It is simply great for cycling tours with a lot of luggage. For the daily shopping trip it is rather unsuitable. Nothing pinches and shoulders and arms are relaxed.