Cycling does not damage your sex life

07/07/14 . Story

Cycling does not appear to increase your risk of erection problems (ED) or of infertility. That is the conclusion of a study of over 5,000 UK cyclists carried out for the Cycling for Health studied and published in the Journal of Men's Health.

(c) freefoto.comThe researchers say: 'No direct relationship was observed between cycling hours/week and ED'. Nor was there any relationship between years of cycling and ED. The main predictors of ED were our old favourites: high blood pressure, smoking and age. There was no association between cycling and infertility either and moderate cyclists (3.75-5.75 hours/week) even had a slightly reduced risk of infertility.

There was however a link between cycling and prostate cancer in men over 50 - the more time in the saddle, the higher the risk of cancer. This was particularly marked in those cycling more than 8.5 hours a week. As the researchers say, the finding 'warrants further investigation'.

It should be noted that 'numerous' studies in the past appear to have shown a link between cycling and ED. The researchers admit that they 'cannot completely discount' these. But suggest their longer-term approach may allow for the benefits to the heart from cycling to be factored in. In other words, a healthy heart reduces the risk of ED even though the short-term effect of cycling for too long may be to increase it. Remember too, that compared to taking no exercise, cycling tends to protect against ED.

The study was based on self-reporting over the internet.

More on 

Read the research in full: An Observational Study of Erectile Dysfunction, Infertility, and Prostate Cancer in Regular Cyclists - Cycling for Health UK Study

Image: Ian Britton at


The Men’s Health Forum need your support

It’s tough for men to ask for help but if you don’t ask when you need it, things generally only get worse. Especially during a major pandemic like Covid-19. So we’re asking.

Men appear more likely to get Covid-19 and far, far more likely to die from it. The Men's Health Forum are working hard pushing for more action on this from government, from health professionals and from all of us. Why are men more affected and what can we do about it? We need the data. We need the research. We need the action. Currently we're the only UK charity doing this - please help us.

Here’s our fund-raising page - please chip in if you can.

Registered with the Fundraising Regulator