BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Health  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
Medical notes
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Monday, 7 June, 1999, 12:23 GMT 13:23 UK
Cycling linked to impotence
Cyclists
Cyclists often complain of genital numbness
Scientists have found that cycling may be linked to problems with impotence in men.

US researchers measured the blood flow in the tissues of the penis in 15 men who had suffered from problems getting an erection and who had a long history of bike riding.

An erection is caused by blood flowing into the penile tissues, which expand as a result.

Measurements of penile blood flow were taken from the men after they had been injected with prostaglandins to increase the flow of blood.

The men were either recumbent or sitting on one of three different types of bicycle seat:

  • Wide and heavily padded
  • Narrow and medium padded
  • Narrow and unpadded

The researchers found there were no significant differences in blood flow with either of the first two seat types.

However, the narrow, unpadded seat caused a significant reduction in blood flow in the arteries of the penis.

German researchers have also found evidence of a link between cycling and impotence.

They surveyed 1,114 amateur cyclists in local cycling clubs who pedalled 100 to 400 km per week, and compared the results to those from 155 active long-distance swimmers.

The rate of impotence in the cyclists was four per cent compared with two per cent for the swimmers.

The researchers also found that more than half the cyclists complained of numbness in the genitals.

The problem was more common among cyclists who travelled longer distances.

Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Health stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Health stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes