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Cycling, and Male Sexual and Urinary Function: Results from a Large, Multinational, Cross-Sectional Study.

  • Author(s): Awad, Mohannad A
  • Gaither, Thomas W
  • Murphy, Gregory P
  • Chumnarnsongkhroh, Thanabhudee
  • Metzler, Ian
  • Sanford, Thomas
  • Sutcliffe, Siobhan
  • Eisenberg, Michael L
  • Carroll, Peter R
  • Osterberg, E Charles
  • Breyer, Benjamin N
  • et al.

PURPOSE:We explored the relation of cycling to urinary and sexual function in a large multinational sample of men. MATERIALS AND METHODS:Cyclists were recruited to complete a survey through Facebook® advertisements and outreach to sporting clubs. Swimmers and runners were recruited as a comparison group. Cyclists were categorized into low and high intensity cyclists. Participants were queried using validated questionnaires, including SHIM (Sexual Health Inventory for Men), I-PSS (International Prostate Symptom Score) and NIH-CPSI (National Institutes of Health Chronic Prostatitis Symptom Index), in addition to questions about urinary tract infections, urethral stricture, genital numbness and saddle sores. RESULTS:Of 5,488 complete survey responses 3,932 (72%) were included in our analysis. On multivariate analysis swimmers/runners had a lower mean SHIM score than low and high intensity cyclists (19.5 vs 19.9 and 20.7, p = 0.02 and <0.001, respectively). No significant differences were found in I-PSS or NIH-CPSI scores, or urinary tract infection history. Cyclists had statistically higher odds of urethral stricture compared to swimmers/runners (OR 2.5, p = 0.042). Standing more than 20% of the time while cycling significantly reduced the odds of genital numbness (OR 0.4, p = 0.006). Adjusting the handlebar higher or even with the saddle had lower odds of genital numbness and saddle sores (OR 0.8, p = 0.005 and 0.6, p <0.001, respectively). CONCLUSIONS:Cyclists had no worse sexual or urinary functions than swimmers or runners but cyclists were more prone to urethral stricture. Increased time standing while cycling and a higher handlebar height were associated with lower odds of genital sores and numbness.

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