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