Is Sperm Count – and Male Fertility – Harmed by Bicycling?


Dr. Michael Homer talks to Giddy about hazards to male sperm count from prolonged cycling

Giddy logo for news article on sperm count and cycling | RSC of the SF Bay AreaPedaling for miles & miles is good for a man’s cardio health but possibly bad for his fertility and chances of becoming a father down the road. Dr. Homer gives Giddy, the largest online platform for sexual health, his viewpoint and advice for male cyclists concerned about their fertility.

“I think for bicycling in general, too much of a good thing applies,” said Dr. Homer, a reproductive endocrinologist and expert in infertility at the Reproductive Science Center of the San Francisco Bay Area.

Some studies show a link between cycling and erectile dysfunction, sperm count and sperm viability, and numbness in the genitals. Other studies found no links to cycling and male infertility.

“We don’t have a definitive answer (to whether cycling can cause infertility issues), but we have biological plausibility,” Dr. Homer said. “We know that some men who bike report genital numbness. But in recreational bicyclists, weekend warriors and mountain bikers who stand up (occasionally while they ride), there’s no evidence to suggest that’s a problem.”

He adds, “If you aim to stand 20 percent of the time while cycling, that’s associated with lower odds of numbness, which is a decent marker for possibly causing issues with sperm.”

To maximize comfort and minimize risk, ride a bike that’s the right size and is fitted specifically for you. Dr. Homer also recommends standing up while pedaling.


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