There are many reproductive system symptoms related to cycling, including numbness of genitals, erectile dysfunction, abnormal erection, penile thrombosis, infertility, prostatitis, hematuria, testicular cancer, etc.
The ultrasonic examination also found that 81% of cyclists found testicular stones but also found epididymal cysts, epididymal calcification, scrotal hydrops, and other symptoms.
Some of them are only reports of individual cases, and the most common one is nerve compression syndrome. In a review of riding and urogenital diseases published by Ilan Leibovitch and others, in 62 research papers, the incidence of genital numbness of cyclists is 50% - 91%, while the incidence of erectile dysfunction is 13% - 24%.
A number of studies, including Sommer F of the Department of Urology at the University of Cologne School of medicine in Germany, have shown that cyclists are more likely to have erectile dysfunction.
The number of spontaneous erections of long-term cyclists (such as cyclists or mounted police) decreased significantly during sleep, and the penile erections also decreased in hardness and diameter to some extent. These are often accompanied by short-term penile numbness, hip numbness, testicular numbness, and so on.
What's more, by studying 15 Spanish triathletes, the researchers found that their sperm activity dropped to an abnormally low level during the competition. The researchers found that among the 15 athletes in the study, normal sperm accounted for only 10% of the total number of sperm (normal value was 15% - 20%), while those cycling 300 kilometers a week, the proportion was reduced to 4%, which was the critical value of male infertility.
Coldman and others from the British Columbia Cancer Agency (Vancouver, Canada) studied 133 athletes with seminoma. After eliminating the interference of cryptorchidism and age, they found that cycling or horseback riding did increase the incidence of testicular cancer.
Why does cycling hurt you?
There is an Alcock's canal in the male's perineum. The arteries and nerves in it pass between the ischium and the genitalia and directly control the blood flow and feel of the penis. When riding on a narrow and long bicycle seat, the arteries and nerves will be compressed by the pelvis.
When riding in a forward-leaning position, a considerable part of the body weight will fall on the front nose of the seat, which is close to the perineum, causing numbness of the genitals.
The measurement of penis oxygen partial pressure is considered to reflect the blood flow of the penis. The study found that penis oxygen partial pressure decreased significantly during riding.
In 1989, aboseif et al., of the Department of Urology at the University of California School of medicine, studied dogs and found that blocking only one side of the penile artery did not seriously affect the erection, but blocking both sides of the artery may have a serious impact on the erection, thus producing impotence, while cycling is likely to have a similar impact.
In addition to compressing nerves and arteries, the temperature will also be affected. It is generally believed that tight underwear may cause the decline of male fertility, which is believed that tight underwear causes a rise in testicular temperature.
If the temperature continues to increase for a long time, it may affect the production of sperm in the testis, leading to azoospermia and oligozoospermia
. Generally, this condition can be treated through surgery.
However, problems such as oligospermia, azoospermia, and non-liquefaction of spermatozoa, clumpy semen caused by orchitis, need to treat orchitis itself. Patients can choose oral Chinese herbal medicine Diuretic and Anti-inflammatory Pill to improve orchitis so that the normal function of prostate and testis can recover, sperm and semen secretion can return to normal.
So, for cyclists, do they have to say goodbye to their hobby? Of course not. Finding a proper seat, wearing padded riding pants, and adjusting the height relationship between the seat and the handlebar will greatly reduce the damage caused by riding.
In the course of riding, the decrease in penis oxygen pressure mainly depends on riding posture and seat shape. When riding a lying bicycle, it will not compress the perineum, and will not change the blood flow of the penis, while riding a general bicycle will reduce the blood flow of the penis by about 70%. Fortunately, standing up and riding for a while can restore the oxygen supply of the penis.
Although cycling affects blood flow to the penis in some ways, ergonomic seats provide maximum protection. And doctors have advised cyclists to freeze their sperm before starting heavy training.