Can Biking Affect Your Sexual Health? Cycling is an activity enjoyed by millions around the globe. For some, cycling is a form of exercise, while others use cycling as a fun activity.
There are, of course, also the professional cyclers who depend on cycling as a way to earn money – in this case, biking becomes a sport. Over 17 million bicycle units are sold in the United States alone annually, with over 59 million people in the United States participating in cycling on a regular basis, according to Statista.
Biking holds many benefits for the human body’s overall well-being, but there are also certain risks associated with cycling that individuals need to take into account. One particular area of interest that has sparked quite a debate is whether or not cycling can lead to problems with a person’s sexual health – including both men and women.
What Do the Studies Say
A number of studies and surveys have been conducted to provide more details on how cycling may affect the sexual health of men and women. While some studies have not been able to offer evidence of adverse effects associated with cycling, there are some studies that found cycling to cause problems with certain functions in both male and female sexual performance.
In this post, we’ll discuss the connection between cycling and sexual health, and provide an overview of the studies that have been done to provide more insight into how this activity may affect the sexual performance and wellbeing of a person.
Benefits of Biking for Exercise
Biking has a lot of benefits for your health. While cycling may not improve sperm motility, it surely acts as a type of cardiovascular exercise, which means the activity will help to improve your heart health and boost your blood flow.
Cycling is also good for improving muscle flexibility, as well as improve muscle strength. Furthermore, this activity will help to reduce your levels of stress, assist with improving your coordination, provide you with a better posture, and it will help to keep your bones strong and healthy.
Riding a bike is also an excellent activity for losing weight and for reducing your risk of developing many diseases.
Biking And Your Sexual Health
The problem that arises when you consider your sexual health during biking is that the seats of most bicycles cause excessive pressure to be placed on your perineum, which is the part of tissue between your anus toward your genitalia.
During a normal seated position, your weight is usually distributed equally between your buttocks, but this is not the case when seated on a bicycle. When excess pressure is placed on the perineum, then the blood vessels and nerves located in this area may become compressed.
This leads to a reduction in the sensations signaled by the nerves, as well, as reduced blood flow due to the compression of the arteries.
This can lead to erectile dysfunction or male fertility problems.
How Biking Can Cause Male Fertility Problems
A study conducted by the Trondheim University Hospital provided a questionnaire to 260 individuals who participated in a bike race that spanned over a distance of 540km. A total of 160 of the men responded to the questionnaire.
- 22% of them reporting that they experienced signs of sexual-related problems following the race.
- A total of 33 men experienced numbness of their penis after they had completed the race, with 10 of these men reporting that the numbness lasted for at least one week and, in some cases, even longer.
- Of all the men who responded to the questionnaire, 13% also reported that they experienced signs of erectile dysfunction.
- A total of 11 men experienced these erectile problems for longer than a single week, and the symptoms remained present for over a month in three of the participants.
Another study, conducted by the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, evaluated the effects of biking on female sexual health. Most studies tend to focus on the fact that cycling may cause temporary or, in some cases, longer-term sexual issues in men, but only a small number of studies have provided evidence of how cycling may affect female sexual health.
A total of 48 female cyclists participated in the study, with the average age of the participants being 33 years. Participants all participated in cycling for a few days every week, cycling between 1.8 hours and 2.1 hours per day.
The study concluded that the pressure placed on the genital area of the female body during cycling had a significant impact on overall sexual health amongst the participants. The most significant factor reported was a reduction in sensation during sexual intercourse and sexual activities.
When comparing the two studies we mentioned above, data reveals that, while both men and women can be adversely affected by biking, it seems like men suffer more serious complications than women.
Reduced sensation in the sexual organs is the only complication of importance noticed by female participants, while men experienced both numbness and signs of erectile dysfunction, which can include poor erectile firmness, or a shorter erection period.
By utilizing one of the best natural male enhancement supplements that include ingredients to improve blood flow, men may be able to potentially reduce their risk of causing a significant impairment in blood circulation.
Do You Need To Give Up Biking?
Many cyclists who learn about the potential dangers that one of their favorite activities may hold for their abilities in the bedroom ask the question whether they now need to completely give up cycling.
The good news is, you can still continue to cycle, but it is vital to take some precaution when it comes to cycling – these precautions will help to safeguard your sexual organs while cycling; thus leading to a reduced risk of causing a compression on your genitalia. In turn, you will be less likely to suffer from numbness, erectile problems and similar issues when it comes to performing during sex.
Best Bike Seat to Use?
It all starts with the type of you seat your bicycle is equipped with. The type of seat that you sit on during the activity has a significant impact on the risk you are putting yourself and your genitalia at.
Racing seats hold a particular risk to them. The long and narrow nose featured in racing seat designs causes more stress to be placed on your perineum; thus leading to a higher risk that the nerves and blood vessels leading to your sexual organs may become compressed, leading to a reduction in blood circulation in the area, as well as impaired sensations. You should also avoid tilting the seat into an upward position, as this may further increase pressure on your perineum.
Instead of opting for a racing or “sports” seat, rather choose a wider seat that contains an adequate amount of padding. If you already experience the dreadful adverse effects that cycling may hold on your sexual health, then you might want to opt for a seat that contains shock-absorbing or gel-filled padding. These may be beneficial for some individuals, but they do tend to cost more than the average seat.
In addition to checking the type of seat you use on your bicycle, there are other ways to further reduce the risk of hurting your erectile function, if you are a man, or your genital sensation, if you are a woman.
Your seat should be at the right height – your legs should not be extended completely toward the pedal. You should also consider adopting a more upright position. You might have to raise your bicycle’s handlebars a little for this. It is also important to shift positions now-and-then. Furthermore, taking some breaks frequently when you know you will be cycling for an extended period of time can also be beneficial.
Some people also find that wearing special biking pants helps them reduce the strain placed on their perineum, as well as reduced the adverse effects that cycling has on their sexual performance. These pants usually contain a layer of padding at the right spots to provide an extra layer of protection for your genitals.
Sexual problems might be a concerning topic when it comes to talking about the physical effect of cycling, but it should be noted that some cyclers also experience other issues.
Friction, irritation, chafing – these are relatively common amongst both men and women during cycling. If you experience these problems, try applying a lubrication cream to your skin before putting on your biking shorts.
If you shave your legs (this tip is for men) and you are prone to developing ingrown hairs and infection in your hair follicles, then do not shave too high up. If you do, apply some antibiotic cream to avoid infections.
Both men and women all over the world enjoy biking, for fun, exercise and sometimes as a sport. The activity holds a number of benefits for the human body, since it serves as a type of cardiovascular activity, but might also hold some risks for the sexual health of both genders.
Scientific studies have provided evidence that cycling might cause a restriction in the blood flow to male and female genitalia, and might also compress nerves, which may lead to numbness and a tingling sensation.
Fortunately, there are some precautionary measures that can be utilized to reduce the risks of damaging your sexual health while cycling, as we described in this post.
Shawn Clark is a Health, Beauty and Fitness Adviser. For the past 7 years, he is providing nutrition counseling, fitness training and health advice all over Phoenix, Arizona. Shawn is committed to providing modern, relevant and reliable health information in all its complexity, perpetuating positive messages about