Getting rid of the traditional bicycle saddle and replacing it with a no-nose seat can increase erectile function, improve penile tactile sensation and reduce groin numbness, according to a study recently published in the August edition of the Journal of Sexual Medicine.
Millions of men use bicycles for recreational and work purposes. Constant cycling results in restricted vascular flow to and from the penis which can in turn influence sexual function. According to Vinnod Narqund, a consultant urological surgeon at St. Bartholomew’s hospital in London, prolonged cycling causes considerable heat in the pelvic region. Mountain bike riders have a higher incidence of abnormal scrotal findings, twisting of the spermatic cord and bleeding in the scrotal sac. Less common symptoms associated with cycles include priapism, penile vein thrombosis, prostatitis and elevated serum PSA (prostate specific antigen - one of the tests used to detect prostate cancer).
In a recent study involving police officers from five metropolitan regions in the U.S., traditional bicycle saddles were replaced with a noseless variety. Although the noseless saddle requires some getting used to, the majority of officers found the transition fairly straightforward.
After a six month trial the number of men reporting improvements in genital sensation increased dramatically. Men reporting lack of genital numbness rose from 27 percent to 82 percent after using noseless saddles. Around 97 percent of officers continued to use the no-nose saddle after the trial had finished.
Dr. Stephen Schrader, lead study author from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health in Cincinnati stated, “No-nose saddles are a useful intervention for bicycling police officers alleviating pressure to the groin and improving penis health.” Dr. Irwin Goldstein, editor-in-chief of the Journal of Sexual Medicine, who published the study said, “This is a landmark study for our field that is important for future riders, and modification of lifestyle showing improvement without any active treatment.”
Narqund, V. “Bicycles and men’s problems (impotence).” PrivateHealthcare UK. March, 2008. 11 Aug 2008 http://www.privatehealth.co.uk/articles/march-2008/cycling-and-impotence/.
Wiley-Blackwell (2008, August 8). No-nose Bicycle Saddle Improve Penile Sensation And Erectile Functioning in Bicycling Police Officers. Science Daily. Retrieved August 8, 2008, from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080807175444.htm
Jerry Kennard, Ph.D., is a chartered psychologist and associate fellow of the British Psychological Society. Jerry’s clinical background is in mental health and, most recently, higher education. He is the author of various self-help books and is co-founder of positivityguides.net.