Cycling is a well-liked kind of aerobic exercise that tones the legs while burning calories. A third or more of Americans ride bikes. Some people ride bikes for amusement on occasion, while others are more serious riders who pedal for several hours each day.
The unexpected consequence of spending too much time on a bike seat, however, is that persons who have a penis and cycle may face erection issues.
It’s hardly news that cycling can cause erection issues. When he observed, “The frequent jolting on their horses unfits them for intercourse,” the Greek physician Hippocrates actually recognised sexual problems in male horseback riders.
The inability to achieve and maintain an erection strong enough for intercourse is known as erectile dysfunction, commonly referred to as impotence. Sometimes having erection problems is not a cause for alarm. However, if erectile dysfunction persists, it can worsen your stress levels, undermine your confidence, and cause relationship issues. It may also detract from your desire for sexual activity.
The percentage of bikers who have experienced genital numbness while cycling ranges from 50 to 91%. This numbness results from a rider’s saddle compressing their perineum, which is a densely populated area of blood vessels and nerves located between their anus and genitalia.
Here are several reasons why cycling may interfere with getting an erection and some tips for avoiding this problem.
How does cycling affect erections?
Cycling may cause erectile dysfunction because the pressure of sitting on the saddle may be pressing against the nerves in your private areas, which can cause them to become painful. This can lead to erectile dysfunction because it’s bad for your fertility.
The perineum, which is the region between the genitalia and the anus, is constantly compressed by the seat when riding. This pressure has the potential to damage nerves and momentarily reduce blood flow. This may eventually result in erectile dysfunction as well as tingling or numbness in the penis.
Nerve impulses from the brain arouse the penis in order for a guy to get an erection. These nerve signals cause blood vessels to relax, resulting in more blood flowing into the penis through the arteries. Any issue with the blood vessels, nerves, or both may prevent you from getting an erection. The term for this is erectile dysfunction (ED).
The perineum, a region that lies between your anus and penis, gets compressed when you ride a bike for extended periods of time. Your penis receives oxygen-rich blood and feeling from the arteries and nerves that make up your perineum.
Men who ride their bikes for long periods of time have complained of numbness and difficulty getting an erection. According to experts, ED is caused by arteries and nerves becoming entrapped between the rider’s pelvic bones and the bicycle’s tight seat.
What research says
Male bikers should regularly stand up when biking, according to research from the Wroclaw Medical University in Poland, to avoid erectile dysfunction. Every ten minutes, people should stand on the pedals, according to the research. The study notes that, in addition to private parts being squashed on the saddle, bad riding technique or choosing the wrong kind of bike can also result in genital numbness.
A Harvard Special Health Report further states that riding a bike might harm the nerves and constrict the arteries in the penis, which can cause erectile dysfunction. According to the study, men who cycled for more than three hours each week were at the greatest risk.
How to reduce your risk of ED
You can still ride for fun and exercise while maintaining your love life with a few adjustments. You can make the following changes to lessen your risk of developing ED:
- Adjust your seat – Replace your slender bicycle seat with one that is wider and has more padding to support your perineum. Additionally, to lessen strain, select a seat without a nose (it will be more rectangular in shape).
- Lower the handlebar -. Your perineum will feel less pressure if you lean forward and lift your bottom off the seat.
- Cushioned biking shorts – You will have additional security as a result of this.
- Reduce the amount of training – Reduce the number of hours you cycle.
- During lengthy rides, take frequent breaks – Periodically move around or stand on the pedals.
- Use a recumbent bike instead – Reclining is better for your perineum if you want to spend a lot of time on the bicycle.
- Change up your workout routine – Alternate between jogging, swimming, and other aerobic exercises in place of only cycling. Include cycling in a comprehensive exercise regimen.
Stop riding for a bit if you experience any discomfort or numbness in the region between your rectum and scrotum.
Other risk factors
Other than cycling, a number of other risk factors can result in erectile dysfunction. Tobacco use, which reduces blood flow, obesity, medical procedures like prostate surgery or radiation therapy for cancer, antidepressant pills, stress, anxiety, or depression, and heavy or regular drug and/or alcohol use are a few examples of these.
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