Could riding a bike lead to erectile dysfunction?
For avid bikers, there is an unspoken fear that their bike might be causing damage. The concern is mostly held by men, who believe bike seats are cutting off blood flow in their genitals and may cause long term effects like erectile dysfunction.
A handful of studies support this theory, but the truth is it’s not a well-studied area. Dr. Craig Niederberger, professor urology and engineering at the University of Illinois-Chicago and an avid biker, decided to look into this topic.
Learning more about bike seats
As an avid biker himself, Niederberger was worried about damage “down there” so he decided to investigate.
To help understand how the human body reacts to a bike seat, Niederberger has rigged up several seats with wires and little electrodes to measure the pressure on the body while riding a bike.
“Our studies are the only ones that I know of that measure force in typical bicycle riding as well as in the lab,” Niederberger says. “We were able to take guys out on their own bikes with a variety of different seats.”
At first Niederberger thought the solution was simple, eliminate the nose of the seat, the part that might cause discomfort. He tested a modified bike seat on several volunteers and found it helped some men, but not all.
Now the hunt for the right seat continues. “I hoped we would find an existing seat that was good for all men. So far we haven’t found the Holy Grail of seats. I think we’re just going to end up making one,” he said. “We’re engineers. We live for projects like these. It’s what turns us on.”
Erectile dysfunction, a treatable condition
Whether you’re a bike enthusiast or not, the effects of erectile dysfunction can be treated with medications like Viagra or Cialis. You can also buy Stendra at the end of 2012 or the beginning of 2013. These lifestyle medications are available through eDrugstore.com and can be prescribed discreetly online by one of our trained medical professionals.