Phone: 512-238-0762

Fax: 512-341-7370

Can Cycling Affect Male Fertility?

A special class of Dr. Mistry’s patients is long-distance bicycle riders. There’s a distinct difference between wearing boxers or briefs a few hours a day and going on a 110-mile bike ride with shorts that are so tight they leave nothing to the imagination.

People will often ask, how does long-distance bicycle riding affect fertility? Cycling can affect men’s fertility in several ways, including:

  1. The rigors of training can take important bodily resources away from the reproductive tract. No one ever said cycling is easy! Training is often rigorous and puts a lot on the body.

 

  1. As we all know, we can’t just jump up and decide one day to go on a 100-mile bike ride. Well, we could, but we probably wouldn’t get very far without months of training and preparation. Cyclists know this well and often have to train their bodies to withstand long distances and to train their bodies to go periods of heavy activity without a lot of water. This constant cycle of dehydration and heavy training can also have an impact on sperm function, as well as testicular function and testosterone metabolism.

 

  1. We’ve all seen the cycling shorts or body suit that cyclists usually wear when going on a long ride and it can actually impact sperm and fertility. How? The use of tight shorts can increase testicular temperature, which can affect how the sperm move and how effectively they are produced.

 

People who ride bicycles long-distance often will develop a condition called pudendal neuropathy – also known as pudendal neuralgia – in which the nerves that provide feeling to the penis can be impacted. It’s known by many cyclists as a “numb penis” when they get off the bicycle after a long-distance bicycle ride. This can impact their ability to get and maintain an erection, which can also affect fertility.

Concerned about how long-distance cycling or any other sport might have an impact on your fertility? Book an appointment with us today. 

How Can MFCOA Help Improve Male Fertility?

 
How can Men’s Fertility Center of Austin, part of the NAU Urology Specialists family of providers, help improve men’s fertility through a holistic approach?

A holistic approach to health means treating the “whole” you, not simply narrowing in one area. At Men’s Fertility Center of Austin, we believe in treating the “whole” you to reach optimal health and wellness. This approach can have a positive impact on many areas of your health, including male fertility.

Our comprehensive approach to male health and male fertility focuses on your complete wellness and health, not just one or two areas. Sperm count can often reflect an individual’s overall health, therefore, if an individual has a low sperm count, it could point to health-related issues and vice versa. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to learn that health issues such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and obesity can significantly impact an individual’s fertility potential.

Simply having an abnormal semen analysis is a risk factor for a man to develop cardiovascular disease early in his life. Elevated cholesterol, hypertension, and regulation of blood glucose all can impact fertility. Early identification of these problems, can impact both a man’s fertility as well as help him live longer.

When our providers at Men’s Fertility Center of Austin assess a man’s fertility, we like to use the opportunity to make their whole health better. That’s why at our office, in addition to semen analysis and hormone panels, we will also be doing an intense investigation of your metabolic parameters that can affect your overall health.

What does this include? An evaluation of your blood sugar levels, your thyroid levels, your lipid levels, and your blood pressure. We also make sure that you’re within your ideal body mass index. If you’re leveling out of the ideal range for your health, we have health coaches on staff that can help guide your diet and supplement menu to make you as healthy as you can be. Being the healthiest you can be will positively impact your sperm count.

All patients will have a traditional semen analysis to assess their fertility. This is the most basic test and remains one of the single most important tests to assess male fertility.

Our approach to an individual’s fertility evaluation will focus on four aspects: Genetic, Hormonal, Lifestyle, and Physiology. Our services include genetic fertility testing, hormonal fertility testing, lifestyle fertility evaluation, and physiologic fertility evaluation.

Visit our website or contact our office to schedule your initial consultation today.

Dr. Christopher Yang Talks Prostate Cancer on The Bro Show Pt. 1

Dr. Chris Yang of NAU Urology Specialists was recently a guest on the Bro Show. He joined The Daniels Brothers to discuss prostate cancer. Addressing the greatly misunderstood role of androgen deprivation therapy via chemical or surgical castration de-mystified by Dr. Yang.

One of the things that they quickly discovered is that Dr. Yang has a five-star rating on Yelp with glowing reviews. Taking us from his beginnings in software, they walk us through when he decided to tackle his medical degree. Dr. Yang did specialty training in sexual dysfunction. Read on for an overview of their discussion below or click here to listen to the podcast.

Let’s talk prostate cancer

The discussion is about prostate cancer. About 2.9 million men have prostate cancer, every year, about 160,000 men find out they have the disease. It is one of the most successfully treated cancers, due to early detection. With any of the cancers discussed, the issues can lie in the side effects of the treatment.

What inspired you to pursue urology as opposed to other medicine?

I knew I wanted to do something surgical and there were a couple of urologists in Galveston who were excited about the field and they got me excited about the field. Plus, urologists have the best jokes out of all physicians. With what we deal with, you have to have a decent sense of humor.

What percentage of your practice is prostate cancer-related? 

Probably about five to ten percent.

What comprises the remainder of the issues for the patients you see?

The remainder are other urologic cancers; kidney, bladder, testicular. Kidney stones and other surgical problems with the kidneys. Men’s health, fertility health and other issues such as scrotal pain.

As physicians, we get focused on our system. When I have patients that come in who have pain on their side with a kidney stone, that is what I know best.

For the layman, what is prostate cancer? 

You first have to answer what a prostate is. The prostate is an organ that sits below your bladder of men. It’s an organ of reproduction, so it makes some of the seminal fluid. Your urethra runs through the prostate. The prostate is a gland that men have that makes fluid. Prostate cancer is abnormal growth of glands. There are very rare types of prostate cancer that comes from the connective tissue, or the muscle in the prostate. Cancer is abnormal cell growth. Cells that should die aren’t and they grow and spread.

Are they tumors? 

Yeah, exactly. Cancers are tumors, but not all tumors are cancers. If you have a benign tumor, that’s not cancer.

With other cancers, people talk about stages. Is that the case for prostate cancer? 

Yes, it is. Stage 1 & 2 cancers mean that the cancer is just inside of the prostate. Stage 2 is more aggressive than Stage 1. Stage 3 means that cancer has spread beyond the prostate, but locally. It’s invaded the boundary of the prostate, the bladder or other nearby organs. Stage 4 means it’s metastatic, meaning it has spread somewhere distant to the prostate like the bones or the lungs.

So, if I have a tumor in the lymph system near my prostate, would that be Stage 3 cancer?

That would still be Stage 4.

In terms of success rate, this is distinct from other cancers, but how else is it different from other cancers? 

The thing that distinguishes it, and the main thing that we can test for is PSA. PSA stands for Prostate Specific Antigen. It’s a protein that’s made by prostate cancer cells and normal prostate cells. It’s a protein in your bloodstream at all times. If it’s high, it’s suspicious.

Prostate cancer is a slower developing cancer, which can vary treatment based on the age of the cancer patient. Can you talk about that?

You’re right. The majority of prostate cancers are Stage 1 and Stage 2 and those are very slow growing. Meaning, it probably wouldn’t cause a problem in 10 years. Stage 3 and Stage 4 cancers do have the ability to cause other health problems fairly quickly.  Right now there’s no easy way to distinguish between those two.

A very high PSA wouldn’t guarantee that I was Stage 3 or 4? 

Not necessarily. It would be more likely that you would have Stage 3 or 4.

When you’re a guy over 50 you start hearing about PSA numbers. What’s the scale and how is the number so widely varied? 

What is considered the normal range is <4 nanograms per liter in the blood. But there’s a pretty big variation as far as what’s normal. For men who have BPH, which is a non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate, which all men get as we get older, that normal range increases. Just because your PSA is 5 or 6, doesn’t mean you have prostate cancer, but we might get a little suspicious.

My urologist said my prostate size was age-appropriate.

What that means is that when you’re younger your prostate is about 20 or 30 grams, like a walnut. As you get older, with 60 year old, I would expect a prostate to be maybe 40 to 50 grams. It can get much larger, some people can get up to 100 gram or 200 gram with a softball or baseball sized prostate. You don’t really feel the size of the prostate, but it will start to restrict the flow of urine. You can’t feel it externally, but can with a prostate exam. We still only get about half the prostate.

This is a 2-part series to be continued. Check back for the next installment in March or click here to listen to the full podcast now.