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Cycling Has Little Effect on Men's Sexual or Urinary Functions

TUESDAY, Jan. 16, 2018 -- Compared with swimmers/runners, cyclists have no worse sexual or urinary functions, according to a study published in the February issue of The Journal of Urology.

Mohannad A. Awad, M.D., from the University of California-San Francisco, and colleagues queried cyclists and a comparison group of swimmers and runners using validated questionnaires including the Sexual Health Inventory for Men (SHIM), International Prostate Symptom Score (I-PSS), and National Institute of Health Chronic Prostatitis Symptom Index (NIH-CPSI). Data were obtained for 3,932 survey respondents.

The researchers found that, compared with low- and high-intensity cyclists, swimmers/runners had a lower mean SHIM score (19.5 versus 19.9 and 20.7; P = 0.02 and P < 0.001, respectively). There were no significant differences in I-PSS or NIH-CPSI scores or in history of urinary tract infection. Compared with swimmers/runners, cyclists had statistically higher odds of urethral stricture (odds ratio, 2.5; P = 0.042). The odds of genital numbness were reduced with standing more than 20 percent of the time while cycling (odds ratio, 0.4; P = 0.006). The odds of genital numbness and saddle sores were reduced with adjusting the handlebar higher (odds ratio, 0.8; P = 0.005) or even with the saddle (odds ratio, 0.6; P < 0.001).

"Cyclists had no worse sexual or urinary functions than swimmers or runners but cyclists were more prone to urethral stricture," the authors write.

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Posted: January 2018