Can Cycling Affect Male Fertility?

ben bunting BA(Hons) PgCert Sport & Exercise Nutriton  Written by Ben Bunting: BA(Hons), PGCert.


Cycling, sports or any exercise for that matter aid you in developing a healthy body which can improve its fuction and increase life expectancy. [1]

People who cycle are less likely to suffer from any cardiovascular issues and tend to live longer, healthier lives.

But there is one aspect of making health that questions the benefits of cycling for men: can cycling make men infertile?

In this article we shall cover the following key points:

  • Cycling and fertility
  • Research
  • Conclusion

Cycling and fertility

Can Cycling Affect Male Fertility?

There have been so many studies and research in this regard. Scientists have related cycling to numerous health issues encountered by males including erectile dysfunction.

The reason is that a long period of sitting on a saddle interferes with blood supply to the penis and can create issues with men, particularly if the saddle is narrow. [2]

Along with hindrance in blood supply, it was also hypothesized that the cycle saddle affects the scrotum via the heat produced due to friction and affects the nerve function as well. [3]

Researchers as much as suggested that cyclists should have their sperm frozen before opting for this sport as a profession if they want to become parents one day.

Thanks to new research in this field, cycling got a chance to shed this image. New and more rigorous research has concluded that cycling does not in any way cause erectile dysfunction or fertility problems in males. [4]

They argue that previous samples were too small to make a proper conclusion based on data received through them.

Furthermore, all the data was from professional cyclists. This may also suggest that intensive, long cycling might have some transient effects on the reproductive health of male cyclists, however, adequate rest should help the body reover enough to avoid any unwanted side effects. [5]

However, while prfessional cyclists or those who undergo an extreme training regime may be at risk, those who are non-competitive have shown not to have any tenuous link to fertility problems. [6]


A study carried out by health professionals recruited many athletes from different sports. These included swimmers, cyclists, runners, and sprinters.

They were questioned about their sexual and reproductive health, numbness in genital area and fertility issues.

It was concluded the cyclists had the same issues regarding the reproductive health as many other athletes. It was surprisingly found out that while controlling of age, cyclists have fewer cases of erectile dysfunction.

There was however an issue of numbness in the genital area reported by many professional cyclists.

Conclusions into the available evidence recommend that cyclists should stand on the pedals every 10 minutes or use a no-nose saddle. [7]

Furthermore, it was suggested that the problem was due to the behaviors during cycling rather than cycling itself. Taking necessary precautions and steps to make this whole process as comfortable as possible is needed.

➡️READ: Natural treatments for male infertility

Special seats designed for a long journey on a cycle should be introduced to solve the problem by relieving the pressure on nerves to avoid numbing sensation experienced after long rides. However, a 'no-nose' saddle is less stable.

It is very important for people to understand that infertility can be caused by other things unrelated to the type and amount of physical activity.

Fertility may be affected by hormonal disturbances, trauma to the genital area, or infection of reproductive organs.

Before blaming it on cycling you need to rule out other causes and get to the root cause of the problem if you are experiencing infertility.

And, if you are afraid to develop this condition, take precautions and necessary steps to avoid it rather than leaving an activity that is better for your health than sitting and doing nothing.

Cycling can improve your cardiovascular health, which if anything, can work to improve and support men’s sexual activity and performance rather than hurt it.

Hence, it is advisable to not avoid cycling due to fear of developing fertility issues as there is no evidence that sperm quality and quantity can be affected by this, or any sport, so far.

Plan the activity well; take enough rest in between long trails to let your organs under pressure revive.


The studies have done so far refute this myth that cycling can cause low sperm count in males or harm their reproductive ability in any way.

Its benefits outweigh the problems it might cause which, to the very least, is uneasiness. Cycling is highly recommended, especially for men who are of a certain age to keep their heart and joints healthy and working.

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  1. Reimers, C.D., Knapp, G. and Reimers, A.K. (2012). Does Physical Activity Increase Life Expectancy? A Review of the Literature. Journal of Aging Research, [online] 2012, pp.1–9. Available at:
  2. Jeong, S-J., Park, K., Moon, J-D. and Ryu, S.B. (2002). Bicycle saddle shape affects penile blood flow. International Journal of Impotence Research, 14(6), pp.513–517. Available at:
  3. Nargund, V.H. (2008). HEALTH ISSUES OF CYCLING IN MEN. BJU International, 102(7), pp.771–772. Available at:
  4. Hollingworth, M., Harper, A. and Hamer, M. (2014). An Observational Study of Erectile Dysfunction, Infertility, and Prostate Cancer in Regular Cyclists: Cycling for Health UK Study. Journal of Men’s Health, 11(2), pp.75–79. Available at:
  5. Hajizadeh Maleki, B. and Tartibian, B. (2015). Long-term Low-to-Intensive Cycling Training: Impact on Semen Parameters and Seminal Cytokines. Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine: Official Journal of the Canadian Academy of Sport Medicine, [online] 25(6), pp.535–540. Available at:
  6. (2021). Preliminary Study Suggests Frequent Cycling May Affect Male Fertility | Boston University Medical Campus. [online] Available at:
  7. Litwinowicz, K., Choroszy, M. and Wróbel, A. (2020). Strategies for Reducing the Impact of Cycling on the Perineum in Healthy Males: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Sports Medicine, 51(2), pp.275–287. Available at: