Is my cycling hobby harming my sperm?
Cycling is seen as a form of exercise and working out that many Indians perceives as being helpful to staying fit. Moreover, in recent years, cycling to work has become a fad and a hobby for many as part of lifestyle changes in urban areas and the supposed “cool quotient” that is associated with it. Indeed, cycling is not only “green” as it saves fuel; it is also a means to the fitness regimes that many follow.
On the other hand, more recent research seems to pooh-pooh the notion that cycling has a deleterious impact on sperm quality and sperm count and in particular, a recent study done by researchers from the eminent Harvard University rubbishing the earlier studies. Of course, the divergence is mainly due to the type of sample population selected and whether elite cyclists and those who cycle as a profession were covered.
Despite the contradictory evidence, what is conclusive from all studies is that cycling does impact the Perineum region or the region between the groin and the anus which is responsible for fertility and sexual functions. To explain, as the cyclists sit on the saddles and the seats, it is their perineum region that bears the brunt as the pressure and the trauma that is exerted on this region can result in reduced blood flow to the testicles and decreased quality of sperm as well as lead to negative effects on the sperm count and motility and it could also lead to erectile dysfunction.
Moreover, the heat and the friction that is generated due to cycling and the position of the seat or saddle can also result in damage to the male reproductive organs. This is more pronounced for those who cycle for more than five hours a day and hence, there is a definite case to be made for taking precautions when cycling.
These include changing positions and adjusting posture when cycling and more importantly, designing the seat or saddle in such a way that cyclists do not put excessive pressure on their reproductive system. In addition, cyclists can alternate between sitting and standing when cycling wit due care to their physical comfort and safety.
Moreover, it is better to avoid those narrow seats that are used by professional cyclists and for those for whom cycling is just a hobby, it is better to have wider saddles and lengthier horns. Indeed, for the Aam Cyclist, it is advisable to contact a Medical Professional to learn more about the right conditions for cycling especially if they are amateurs and those wishing to conceive.