Is Biking Bad for the Bedroom?
If the Seat Fits
More Studies, More Seats continued...
To test the seat, the firm consulted with Robert Kessler, MD,
professor of urology at Stanford University Medical Center in Palo Alto, Calif.
In March 1999, Kessler recruited 25 cyclists. Each one regularly rode at least
six hours weekly, and all had suffered from perineal pain, numbness, and
erectile dysfunction. The cyclists used the new seat for a month and then
shared their results.
"Fourteen had complete relief, nine had almost complete
relief of their symptoms, one had partial relief, and one indicated no
change," says Kessler. Kessler presented his findings at the 1999 annual
meeting of the American Urological Association.
Diamondback and Avocet Inc. also manufacture seats designed not
to compress the perineum.
A Little Padding Helps, Too
A study presented at the same AUA meeting found that unpadded
seats reduce penile blood flow more than padded seats. The width of the padded
seats wasn't a factor.
"Of course, not every bicycle rider develops erectile
dysfunction, just as not every smoker develops lung cancer," says Taylor.
"But a standard seat is a risk factor."
Other risks, according to Taylor, include being overweight,
having wider than average hips, and leaning forward over the handlebars while
riding -- all of which put extra pressure on the perineum.