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Biking - A Dangerous Exercise? - How a favorite activity can cause Impotence

Riding bikes is an enjoyable activity and it's a healthy exercise - but it has risks, too. The Neurology Department at the University of Colorado School of Medicine reported in the February 2000 Seminars in Neurology that excessive bicycling can cause impotence.

Contributing to the potential dysfunction is an obvious culprit, ill-fitting bike seats. The problem is due to constant pressure on the pudendal nerve. In an article published in the "Journal of Sexual Medicine," Dr. Steven Schrader of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health says that ergonomic seats force more weight onto a smaller area. He cautions riders against using saddles with a cut out. They may put more pressure on the genital nerves and arteries, because blood vessels aren’t centered in the perineum.

“Regular changes of position on the seat will relieve the pressure and prevent further nerve damage”, Dr. Schrader says. Another preventive measure to employ is to stand up every 10 minutes to restore blood flow to the groin. He also recommends the shifting of arms on the handlebars occasionally to prevent damage to the nerves.

The Doctor claims that noseless saddles reduce the incidence of genital discomfort by 58 percent. Needless to say, it is important to take your time when choosing a saddle, and research the potential liabilities a ill-fitting seat may cause.
Temporary or permanent cycling-related symptoms can also include numbness, pain, and decreased orgasm sensitivity. Numbness is a telltale symptom. Though it can be a warning sign, impotence can occur without it.
Treatment primarily involves simply taking a rest from biking. Alternating different bikes and/or seats can prevent recurrence. Switching to a recumbent bike, where the rider reclines instead of bending over, can relieve pressure on the perineal structures, and concerned riders should absolutely consider switching to a wider bike seat that supports more body weight.
After all, you don’t want a daily activity getting in the way of your nighttime fun.

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