We all know that cycling is an incredibly healthy activity. In fact, people are encouraged to indulge into cycling as often as they can, enjoying this economical, practical and useful means of transportation. However, cycling can also be dangerous and, believe it or not, one may end up being impotent, numb in the groin, suffering from decreased orgasm sensitivity or penile blood supply, all due to the unhealthy impact of sitting on a bicycle seat.
Basically, when you sit on your bicycle, you apply pressure on your perineum, which is the area between the base of the penis/vagina and the anus. This area contains blood vessels and nerves which get compressed, leading to damage and numerous health problems or a complete blockage of blood vessels.
Frequency of Cycling Affecting the Perineum
A study was carried out in order to help people realize the dangers of cycling when it comes to damage done to the perineum. About 40 cyclists were involved in the study and, remarkably, 70% of them suffered from decreased blood supply to the penis. Furthermore, genital numbness was present in about 61% of the subjects while 19% of them suffered from erectile dysfunction. The latter group mostly included people who rode their bicycles for more than 250 miles each week.
Another study had encompassed a total of 463 cyclists who rode for 200 miles. Here, 31% of participants in the event suffered from erectile dysfunction.
An alternative study showed that genital numbness was present in up to 91% of cyclists involved with up to 24 cases of complete erectile dysfunction.
All in all, not all cyclists suffer from erectile dysfunction, but the number of those who do cannot be neglected nor ignored.
Why is This So?
The main trigger of erectile dysfunction and other problems with the perineum related to cycling lies in the position and characteristics of the bicycle seat in comparison to the body position of the rider, his weight, the angle between the saddle and the handlebars and the angle the saddle itself is positioned at. Of course, the very shape of the bicycle seat plays a very important role in its effect on the perineum.
The vertical pressure on the perineum, once a biker is cycling can deliver up to 52% of the entire weight directly onto the perineum.
Studies have shown that, once you adjust your handlebars to be lower than your seat, you decrease your chances of suffering from erectile dysfunction since you distribute your weight better.