Training & Nutrition - Link between cycling and male infertility.
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06-29-09, 09:08 AM
From the BBC. (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/8124458.stm)
06-29-09, 09:52 PM
"Heat from wearing tight clothing, friction of the testes against the saddle and stresses on the body from the sheer amounts of energy needed to do such rigorous exercise, could all contribute to poor sperm quality, said Professor Vaamonde."
Doesn't this look like anyone doing rigorous exercise would be at risk? I'm all for taking care of the boys. Just sayin'....
06-29-09, 10:46 PM
This is a old and REALLY tired argument. There are many, many male cyclists who can "use the goods" just fine. From what I've read, genital damage usually results from poor saddles and poor fit, both of which hurt you pretty damn good before you really screw yourself up.
06-30-09, 09:38 AM
You can always just 'get bent' of you are really worried about having a hard object poking you there.
07-02-09, 01:52 PM
good thing I'm not a pro cyclist, oh and that I have 2 kids already, oh and that I'm 50, oh and that there is only a very very slim chance a certain somebody would be interested in me that way. been curious though, and been thinking about getting tested just for kicks.
07-02-09, 08:50 PM
people, male and female, often have abnormal reproductive health during times of high stress, including lots of training. this study says the average training load was 9 times per week! it seems highly speculative that spermatogenesis wouldn't normalize once the stressor(s) were eliminated. maybe it was a bad translation or something, but simply speculating that "years of wear and tear" cannot be healed, or that it isn't due simply to hormonal fluctuations sounds like bad science. it is obvious that if your testicles are pressed up against your body while you are exercising (i.e. your body temperature is elevated), you might have some problems with sperm production. there is a reason they hang outside your body; healthy, viable sperm are not formed even at normal core temperature.
edit: i'd like to add, if it weren't obvious before, I think this is kind of a stupid study because of its obvious derivative nature and failure to isolate the actual physical cause of the abnormalities. you essentially verified something we have known for at least decades: spend hours a day with your testicles being heated, and you get bad sperm. bravo. why wouldn't you take what we already know, and determine whether the simple increased proximity to the body during exercise is to blame? what about measuring changes in hormone(testosterone, cortisol) levels with training volume and trying to correlate those with changes in sperm health and numbers? I think I'll stick a digital thermometer under my scrotum during a ride on a hot day and see just how high it gets. It would probably give me more useful information than this study
Reminds me of something... (http://smartoon.org/comic.php?c=22372)
07-02-09, 11:13 PM
Better safe than sorry. My upright bikes have these (http://hobsonseats.stores.yahoo.net/index.html), and I've also gotten bent.
07-03-09, 01:18 AM
I'm not saying the idea of cycling causing reproductive harm isn't plausible. There may very well be some link. I just think speculating that it is irreversible and intrinsically unique to the sport of cycling are less scientifically proven. There are obviously erectile issues linked to pressure in that area, as well as problems with sensation.
07-03-09, 07:42 AM
In short, the standard bike seat tends to pinch and squeeze a part of the male body that ought not to be pinched or squeezed.
09-25-09, 08:50 AM
sorry to dredge up an old (maybe tired) thread & concept, but does anyone here have any links to info that relates some of the more scientific analysis of the sperm count/heat/cycling relationships....and by that I mean, what kind of saddles were used in tests, what duration of training (frequency/time/distance), what climate were tests done in, etc. My family is considering an addition and with some other "challenges" that exist for us to conceive, this concept of damage due to prolonged heat has come up. My suggestion was to start biking naked or wearing kilts or something...not sure if the wife completely concurred with my suggestion, though.
09-25-09, 08:57 AM
I don't but I have some suggestions
- no hot tubs
- boxer shorts only
- vitamin supplements - I forget which one - but there is plenty of info out there to find it
- if there is some evidence about biking creating an issue then don't ride until you conceive
Honest question for anyone who knows the answer. Regardless of what causes abnormal looking sperm (biking or something else) ...
What does abnormal looking sperm mean? Less likely to conceive? More likely for birth defects? What complications would it cause?
09-25-09, 09:24 AM
aside from their genetic makeup which declines with age and exposure to toxins just like the egg, sperm have a physical task, they have to get to the egg, and so a lot of attention is paid to their ability to do this, this is called "motility" or how well they can "swim". they check your count in % meaning 30% of your boys can do the job and 70% my be lame for some reason. no one has 100% motility. at least I don't think so.
09-25-09, 10:38 AM
I was told by a dr. that genetics were unrelated, but the last post explains the physics.
09-25-09, 11:12 AM
I guess I was referring to chromosomal deterioration due to age and chemical exposure. I believe there is evidence now that we can damage our chromosomes leading to birth defects. chemical exposure can be from internal medications as well as environmental pollutants
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