Is impotency or injury to the male privates, a problem with riding upright bicycles?


Dr Goldstein feels that this is true and has some research backing his claims (note: this 'problem' is totally solved by getting a recumbent bicycle!) And, check out the latest research study in the prestigious medical journal, The Lancet!

From "Bicycling" Magazine, 8/97, on upright bicycles,
this quote from Dr. Irwin Goldstein of Boston University Medical Center:

Impotence & Cycling: The Unseen Danger
"Men should never ride bicycles," he says matter-of-factly. "Riding should be banned and outlawed. It's the most irrational form of exercise I could ever bring to discussion."

Dr. Goldstein treats six men a week on average, whom, he says, have become impotent from riding a bicycle. Overall, this urologist estimates there are about 100,000 men who have lost the ability to get or maintain satisfactory erections because of penile damage inflicted by either the bike's top tube or its saddle.

From "Newsweek", August 25, 1997

"A Very Sore Sport
Exercise helps keep a man sexually fit, but Dr. Irwin Goldstein, a Boston University impotency specialist, says that bicycling is one workout to avoid. When a man uses a standard bike seat, his weight flattens the main penile artery, temporarily occluding the blood flow required for erections. Goldstein believes that, over time, this pressure can permanently damage the vessel. He says he sees several patients a week with bicycle-induced sexual difficulties. One was Ed Pavelka of Bicycling magazine, who recounted in a recent article that years of marathon riding had left him "as soft as overcooked rigatoni" Several companies sell padded, oversized saddles intended to reduce the pressure of the perineum, but Goldstein advises men to stop riding altogether until a seat is proven safe. He said the ideal seat would 'look like a toilet seat."

The newest research report in the medical journal, The Lancet in Aug 2000 and seen in the Sept 2000 "Bicycle Retailer":

** NOTICE: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. ***

Following is from Bicycle Retailer online:

Medical Journal The Lancet Looks At Saddle Injuries
LONDON, U.K. (BR&IN)—A new study in the medical journal The Lancet found
that 43 of 45 mountain bikers examined had scrotal trauma and
abnormalities. The study was written by Ferdinand Frauscher and his
colleagues at the University Hospital Innsbruck, Austria.

The most common abnormalities were Scrotoliths and benign calcified masses.
The study also noted some of the riders also had sperm cysts, epididymal
and testicular calcification and hydrocoele, all of which were probably
saddle related.

In addition to reducing the mechanical action responsible for these
conditions, improving padding and adjusting saddle angle and height, the
authors suggest that new shock-absorbent saddles and full suspension bikes
might help reduce saddle vibration. The full report is online at ęBicycle Retailer & Industry News

Note: since there is no injury on recumbent bicycles, do we see an easy solution for the folks who wish to do a lot of cycling but don't want the injury? :)

Seen on the Philadephia Area Recumbent Cyclists website  (seem to have merged with BCP and don't have a separate website anymore)

Back to Sue's Recumbent Site