Bicycling and Male Fertility

It may sound extremely surprising to many, but several IVF doctors have been asked by their male patients whether cycling affects their fertility. An even more surprising answer to that is that apparently, it does. This may be bad news for enthusiasts of bicycling or athletes competing in cycling competitions, but men trying to have a baby with their partner must either delay or modify their cycling habits and schedule.

According to several test tube baby experts, numerous studies have concluded that regular bicycling, be it aggressive or mild, affects the sperms of a man adversely. Unfortunately, there is not much information available on the internet or various other information sources that can help solidify this claim, but IVF specialists emphasis that indeed, bicycling affects a man’s sperm quality as well as quantity. Most of these studies involved examining the fertility of common men along with elite level athletes and it was observed that men living a sedentary lifestyle had higher sperm count in an ejaculation as opposed to nearly none in that of the elite level athletes.

So, how does something as health-friendly ascycling affect sperm production negatively?

Normally, all kinds of workouts or exercises result in hormonal issues such as drop in the level of testosterone or lower sperm production at the level of the testis. But cycling has been exclusively remarked as a major culprit behind damaging the sperm reserve.

When a man sits on a bicycle, his perineal body that includes the testis and rectum, rests on the seat. Thereafter, when he cycles and moves his legs up and down while peddling, the continuous and frictional motion causes trauma to the perineal area.  This trauma depletes or even hampers the normally smooth blood flow in this area which affects the production of sperms, their quantity as well as quality. Local impact on the testicular and perineal area may impact sexual function. Studies show that some individuals who bicycle intensely or for long periods cop significant nerve or vascular injury. Genital numbing may persist in some men for a long time, which can significantly affect sexual function and result in erectile dysfunction.

A group from South Africa looked at 10 long-distance competitive cyclists and 10 sedentary controls. The only difference found between the groups was that the bicycling subjects had a much lower percent of normal morphology (appearance of the sperm) when compared with the sedentary men

It is important to point out that, while differences are found in these sperm parameters, no study has clearly shown that there’s a difference in terms of the most important outcome: fertility.

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