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. So we’re asking.

In the UK, one man in five dies before the age of 65. If we had health policies and services that better reflected the needs of the whole population, it might not be like that. But it is. Policies and services and indeed men have been like this for a long time and they don’t change overnight just because we want them to.

It’s true that the UK’s men don’t have it bad compared to some other groups. We’re not asking you to ‘feel sorry’ for men or put them first. We’re talking here about something more complicated, something that falls outside the traditional charity fund-raising model of ‘doing something for those less fortunate than ourselves’. That model raises money but it seldom changes much. We’re talking about changing the way we look at the world. There is nothing inevitable about premature male death. Services accessible to all, a population better informed. These would benefit everyone - rich and poor, young and old, male and female - and that’s what we’re campaigning for.

We’re not asking you to look at images of pity, we’re just asking you to look around at the society you live in, at the men you know and at the families with sons, fathers and grandads missing.

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

Registered with the Fundraising Regulator