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The Male Room

with Sheldon Marks, MD

This blog has been retired.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Bicycle Seats and Erectile Dysfunction

Interesting question from the message board:

My husband, since training for a 100 mile bicycle ride, has had trouble maintaining an erection. He says he has full sensation and is able to ejaculate even while soft. During the longer training rides, he would complain “my balls are numb”. We haven’t ridden more than just a few indoor cycling classes (in which he says there is not a problem with pressure on his scrotum) for a few weeks now. He has also been on blood pressure medication for three years without any problems with this in the past. Is it the bicycling, the medication? If it is the bicycling, is it permanent??

Long distance bike riding is indeed associated with erection problems. Sometimes it can return, sometimes for the long-term cyclists it can be permanent.

This has nothing to do with the bike riding itself, but it is the seat and how he sits that is the problem. The seats with the little groove down the middle are not the answer.

I have talked with Steven Schrader, PhD, who is the world’s expert on this and he suggests a seat with a blunt nose or no nose at all. He has studied this in men who work on bikes, such as bike cops. It is the long nose that juts forward that men ride on, that causes the problems.

Ideally, all the man’s weight should be back on the bones of his butt, the ischial tuberosities. This is the fat part of the seat. When a man rides the front nose and grinds and compresses his perineum for hours, this damages the delicate blood vessels and nerves. The fact that he goes numb tells you this is what is happening. He can either change how he rides or get the better blunt, short nosed seat or a seat with no nose at all.

Probably the best does not look cool. It is the seat with two separate butt pads and no nose at all. You know, the kind with the big giant springs. Throw some tassles on for effect. It is important for him to stop and make some changes or if not permanent now, it may become life-long.

Related Topics: Video: Cycling Your Way to a Slimmer Physique, Finding Your Workout Personality

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Posted by: Sheldon Marks, MD at 4:41 pm

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