Does Cycling Cause Erectile Dysfunction

Cycling is an aerobic activity that is a kind of low-impact exercise for men of all ages. Doing it regularly can strengthen your leg muscles without overstressing your joints.

According to some studies, prolonged and intense cycling can potentiate chances of developing erectile dysfunction (ED) among males. Before understanding how cycling can lead to erectile dysfunction, let us first understand what erectile dysfunction is.

What is erectile dysfunction and its causes?

Erectile dysfunction is a failure to get and sustain erections firm enough to have sexual intercourse. This issue is quite common among older males. Although younger males might also experience these difficulties owing to psychological factors.

Men get erections when the blood flow through the penile blood vessels increased during sexual arousal. Poor blood flow is a result of narrowing and constricting of the penile blood vessels.

As the blood supply gets hindered, the ability to get and maintain erections gets affected.  As a result, the penile remains soft despite complete sexual arousal. The reason for the impairment of the vascular function and poor blood flow can stem from psychological or physiological factors.

Medical health conditions like obesity, diabetes, atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disorders, etc. Are physiological causes of impotence. Whereas, stress, depression, anxiety, performance anxiety, trauma, etc. Are the psychological factors of it.

How can cycling lead to erectile dysfunction?

This can be attributed to several factors that are given below:   

Nerve compression: The nerves in the pelvic region are responsible for receiving the signals transmitted by the brain, indicating sexual arousal. In response to those stimulating signals, the nerves in the penile trigger's erection.

Cycling might cause the compression of these nerves of the pelvic region. Especially, prolonged and frequent cycling can put pressure on the pudendal nerve, which has a crucial role in sexual function.

The compression of pudendal nerve can lead to tingling sensation, numbness, and even erectile dysfunction. Therefore, one must avoid prolonged cycling.

Perineal pressure: The perineum is a tiny space or a patch of skin that exists between the genitals and anus. Prolonged cycling puts pressure on this area, which compresses the blood vessels and nerves of this region. The exertion of persistent pressure hinders the blood flow through the blood vessels of this region. Besides, it also contributes to nerve damage.

Vascular trauma: The compression and exertion of too much pressure around the genitals and the base area prevents the flow of blood to the genitals. This reduces the blood flow through the penile blood vessels.

A decrease in the blood circulation to the penile gives rise to erection difficulties. The person's ability to get and maintain firmer erections for sexual intercourse will be affected big time. 

Humidity and temperature: Extensive cycling during hot or humid weather can enhance the heat and level of moisture around the genital region. This increase in temperature of the genital region is not favorable for the health of sperm in males. The sperm production, sperm volume, and erection function will be negatively impacted. 

Ways to reduce the risk of erectile dysfunction due to cycling

The possibility of sexual dysfunction can be reduced by managing the factors that potentiate the risk of it due to prolonged and excessive cycling. One can reduce the potential risk of erectile dysfunction in the following ways:

Small breaks: Rather than cycling continuously for long hours, you can take small breaks multiple times. This can help reduce the pressure exerted on the genitals due to cycling. The blood flow to the genitals and perinium will improve as a result.

Make use of a properly fitted saddle: You must choose a saddle that provides you with proper support. This will reduce the pressure on the perineum. Make sure the equipment you are using is of the best quality.

Use padded shorts: Invest in good quality shorts that come with padding. This will provide you with proper cushioning, which will reduce the pressure on the nerves and blood vessels present in the perinium.

Adopt a healthy lifestyle: Making healthier lifestyle choices is of utmost importance. It is necessary to exercise every day, consume a clean and nutritious diet, quit smoking, and manage stress. This will be beneficial for your overall health and well-being.

Remedy for erectile dysfunction

Erection difficulties are quite common. They might occur because of many reasons other than cycling. But the good news is that you can manage these difficulties with ED medicines in an effective manner.

ED medicines like Filagra DXT can help restore the erection function. These are composed of Sildenafil Citrate, which is a PDE5 inhibitor that boosts blood supply to the penile and alleviates erection difficulties.   

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