Can Extreme Cycling Cause ED?

While cycling is an excellent form of low impact exercise, those who are into professional cycling or cycle for long hours on a daily basis may be at increased risk of experiencing Erectile Dysfunction ED issues.

Cycling and ED is a well-discussed issue. It differs from person to person, is mostly dependent on the number of hours spent cycling, but also affected by other biomechanical and physiological factors including the saddle choice, the cycle sport undertaken, and the bike fit to the rider.

According to a Harvard Special Health Report, in certain circumstances, excessive bike riding can damage nerves and compress arteries in the penis, which may lead to erectile problems. This risk, however, is observed amongst men who put in excessive hours of cycling.

Why is ED more common amongst cyclists?

Excessive cycling may cause erectile dysfunction problems because the seat puts pressure on the perineum continuously. This is the area between the genitals and anus which is full of arteries and nerves responsible for supplying oxygen-rich blood as well as sensation to the penis. This constant pressure may harm nerves, temporarily slowing down the blood flow, which can cause tingling or numbness in the penis. This can eventually lead to ED issues.

What you need to be conscious of is any feeling of tingling or numbness in the penis post long ride. Should you feel any such thing, you must take a break for a week or so and observe. These could be warning signs that excessive cycling may lead to ED.

All is not lost; there are ways to mitigate this risk! To help avoid any issues, it is advisable to take breaks during long cycle rides. You should also use protective gear such as padded bike shorts for added protection. We also suggest ensuring you have a saddle and bike that fits your anatomy. This is linked to the width of your seat bones, your riding style and your riding position. Small adjustments are not necessarily costly, can increase comfort and most importantly ensure that blood flow is not compromised.

Being aware is most important. Take steps to protect your cycling passion and reduce this risk before you experience problems. If you are concerned, it is better to see a specialist clinician as soon as you can. This will hopefully confirm the source of the problem as the bicycle and allow you to make changes.

Farnhurst Elite offer a discreet, NHS approved, vacuum therapy solution to help in the treatment of ED, be it temporary or more prolonged. Browse our site for more information.