People are concerned whether biking can result to sterility. Questions such as the effect of distance travelled Cyclistsby a biker (short distance over long distance) would can cause or aggravate infertility problems among male riders.

University of Maryland Medical Center  stated that more than 90% of male infertility cases are due to low sperm counts, poor sperm quality, or both. The remaining cases of male infertility can be caused by a range of conditions including anatomical problems, hormonal imbalances and genetic defects.

Risk factors for male infertility as identifies by University of Maryland Medical Center include:

  • Varicocele, an enlarged varicose vein in the spermatic cord that connects to the testicle
  • Aging, which can reduce sperm counts and motility and decrease the genetic quality of sperm
  • Sexually transmitted diseases, which can cause scarring in the male reproductive system or impair sperm function
  • Lifestyle factors such as smoking and substance abuse
  • Long-term or intensive exposure to certain types of chemicals, toxins, or medications

Considering this information, one might wonder why biking is considered to contribute to infertility problems.

Dr. Lauren Wise, Associate Professor of Epidemiology at Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) conducted a study on the relationship between exercise and fertility. She and her colleagues studied 2,261 men who were members of couples attending one of three fertility clinics in the Boston area between 1993 and 2003. The study concluded that exercise levels generally had no overall impact on sperm quality and quantity after adjustment for variables such as multivitamin use, blood pressure, weight, and type of underwear worn.

Moreover, Dr. Wise speculated that semen may be affected by temperature increases in the scrotum or trauma while cycling, but said it was much too early to be sure of the cause, and she added that it is as yet “unknown whether cycling itself actually caused the issues with their sperm.”

Healthmeup debunked the myth that excessive cycling affects male fertility or sperm count and pointed out that the problem associated with excessive cycling may have some relation on erections. It was also claimed that this issues was associated with the kind of seat used by the cyclist. The claim implied that any seat that causes numbness could potentially damage man’s erection but there is no evidence that shows fertility is affected.

The New York Times similarly claims that bicycling may affect erectile function. This is because pressure from the bike seat may damage blood vessels and nerves that are responsible for erections. Mountain biking, which involves riding on off-road terrain, exposes the perineum (the region between the scrotum and the anus) to more extreme shocks and vibrations and increases the risk for injuries to the scrotum. The New York Times recommends a padded or contoured bike seat set at the proper height and angle to help reduce this risk.

It is better to be informed on this issue then not informed.  If you have been in a bicycle accident recently, please contact us at Christensen and Hymas where we can provide you with information concerning your case.