Health, Sex

Cycling Won’t Hurt Your Sex Life

After years of somewhat authoritative reports that cycling could hinder the sex lives of both men and women, two new studies are telling us not to worry. A news release from the American Urological Association reports that one study, which included nearly 4,000 men, of whom 63 percent were cyclists who did not swim or run and 37 percent were swimmers or runners who did not cycle, revealed the following:

  • Cycling does not affect lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS).
  • Cyclists had a higher average SHIM score (20.1 vs. 18.9) p<0.01 than non-cyclists. SHIM is a measure of erectile dysfunction, with higher scores meaning less dysfunction.
  • Cyclists had higher odds of perineal numbness compared to non-cyclists.
  • Cardiovascular benefits of exercise seem to outweigh any theoretical deterrent of cycling.
  • Bike seat type had no significant effect on results.

A second study of 2,691 women, 39 percent (658) of whom were cyclists and 61 percent (1,013) were swimmers or runners, found the following:

  • Cycling has no appreciable effect on female sexual or urinary functions.
  • Female cyclists had significantly higher mean total FSFI (females sexual function index) scores (22.7 vs. 21.3, p<0.01), as well as higher mean scores in each FSFI domain, except for satisfaction and pain.
  • There were no significant urinary symptom differences between cyclists and non-cyclists.
  • Female cyclists may have an increased risk of developing UTIs.
  • High intensity cyclists (cycling for more than 2 years, more than 3 times a week and daily average of more than 25 miles cycled) were more likely to develop perineal numbness and saddle sores.
  • Bike seat type had no significant effect on results.

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