Keep on cycling, men. Bike riding apparently does not harm men’s urinary and sexual functions, recently published research shows.
A multinational study involving more than 4,000 active men found that cyclists’ sexual and urinary health was comparable to those who participated in certain other sports. The study was the largest of its kind, and its findings about men’s health are contrary to earlier and smaller studies that suggested cycling adversely affected men, perhaps due to the pressure of riding on a hard seat.
But urology researchers from the University of California, San Francisco found little difference in the sexual and urinary health of cyclists when compared with runners and swimmers. They surveyed athletes through sporting clubs and social media, including nearly 2,800 cyclists, who answered questions about sexual health, prostate issues, urinary tract infections and saddle sores.
The researchers also looked at the bikers’ cycling intensity, bicycle configuration, riding style and road conditions. Both high-intensity cyclists, those who rode at least three or more times a week for more than 25 miles, and less frequent riders were studied. The findings were published in The Journal of Urology.
Among the other findings: Positioning a bike’s handlebars below the saddle height increased the chance of saddle sores and genital numbness. The characteristics of the road and other aspects of the bicycle did not have a negative effect.
Researchers said the findings validate the cardiovascular benefit of cycling while also diminishing concerns about injuries or negative side effects.
That’s all the more reason to attack that last hill or finish one more mile.