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Impotence and Bicycling

Dr. Roberta Beals

Sexual activity decreases with age in both men and women. In men, the most common sexual problem is Erectile Dysfunction (ED). ED is the recurrent inability to acquire or sustain an erection of sufficient rigidity ad duration for sexual intercourse.

Numerous studies have indicated an association with bicycling. Any activity that places prolonged pressure on the nerves or blood flow that service this area can result in penile numbness and impotence. Prolonged pressure can result in loss of subcutaneous fat over time, pressure on nerves resulting in loss of sensation and limiting oxygenated blood flow to the penis will result in ED. Standard bicycle seats is now known to cause this in long distance cyclists. Alternative seating is available.

Consider, however, other activities or behaviors that can do the same thing: any sustained activity that changes the nervous impulse or limits the blood flow should be avoided to limit your risk. There are some early studies coming out of Japan looking for the same issue in Motorcyclists. There is nothing on PubMed addressing this issue in horseback riders. (From my experience it is common in my female patients that have improved with the O-Shot)

For a Patient handout on Sexual Health and Aging check out this link:

Mayo Clin Healthy Lett. 2007 ju, Urology. 2015 Apr;85(4)ne:25(6), J Sex Med 2008 Aug;5(8); 2005 sep;2(5), Uptodate October 2017, Int J Impot Res. 2006 July ; 18(4)

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