Erectile Dysfunction: This is every man’s biggest nightmare. Unfortunately, this is also a fairly common problem. It is estimated that there are about a quarter of a million men in Latvia suffering from erectile dysfunction, which, of course, means that there are at least twice as many people affected by the problem – erectile dysfunction is a problem that both partners suffer from. Many factors contribute to these disorders, especially malnutrition, lack of sleep, and stress. But there is also one potential reason that is often not discussed: cycling.
Before you start worrying, it’s important to note that if, for example, you go cycling a few times a week, it probably won’t apply to you. But if you are serious about cycling, over time, sitting on a hard bike seat can slowly damage the pudendal nerve, the largest group of pelvic nerves that surround most of the lower intestines, anus, perineum, and lower genitals. This can take the form of a pudendal nerve blockage . Although rare, this condition can cause chronic pain, numbness, and, as you already guessed, sexual dysfunction .
“Pudendine nerve damage can cause loss of sensation in the groin and perineum,” says Dr. MD Azad John-Salimi. “Although the pudendal nerve is located deep inside the body, constant seat pressure can cause nerve compression and also nerve injury.”
Is it only the narrow wheel seat that is to blame?
Cycling is not the only way to get damage to this nerve: “Any activity in which a large part of the body’s weight is on a hard, narrow surface, such as a bench, can be to blame,” says sexologist Paul Nelson . But cycling, he said, is the most common culprit. (Don’t worry, riders or motorcyclists : these are not as risky processes as the seats are softer and wider.)
What is the solution?
Invest in a wider type of bike seat that can help protect your groin from nerve damage. ” These seats exist in the industry for this very reason,” says Lea Benson, owner of Gladys Bikes . A notched seat can help reduce the pressure that causes nerve damage, but only if the notch is related to a person’s personal physiology and is properly positioned on the bicycle.
Professional cyclists are advised to try different seat types before finding the most comfortable one. Even the finest seats in the highest class can cause discomfort, numbness, or even long-term nerve damage if not positioned correctly.
If you experience erectile dysfunction and suspect damage to this nerve , it is advisable to contact a neurologist. But keep in mind that the problem of erection is common enough, so there could be something else entirely to blame.
Therefore, before completely avoiding cycling, do not forget that proper diet and exercise are key factors in ensuring optimal sexual health and functionality.