Cyclists may also complain of genital numbness and even of impotence. The main reasons cited for these problems include impaired blood supply and pressure on the nerves of the penis as studies on volunteers have shown that cycling in a standing position does not alter penile blood supply after exercise and remain the same as before exercise. Numbness of the genital region is reported by more than 60% of the cyclists. There is a higher incidence of numbness and erectile problems in men who cycle regularly on longer training distances. Penile blood flow is affected due to the compression of vessels by sitting on the saddle.
This may be accentuated by the hard surface of the saddle which could be a reason for penile numbness and impotence in long-distance cyclists. It is important therefore to take rests intermittently during prolonged and vigorous bicycle riding and to restrict the training distance.
Know your bicycle well. The modern bicycle consists of a frame with various components, including handlebars, brakes, wheels, pedals, and gears, in various configurations for the various modes of cycling. For high performance cycling the proper fit of the bicycle is critical. This can be achieved with bikefitkit. Make sure that a proper frame selection and adjustment is made for your posture, height and balance by following simple guidelines for frame size, seat height, fore and aft saddle position, saddle angle, reach and handlebar height. The human body functions well with a narrow range of pedal resistance to effort. Riding at too much pedal resistance is a major cause of overuse problems in cyclists.
Managing saddle-related injuries or irritations may also involve adjusting seat height, angle and fore and aft position in addition to changing the saddle. Padding in the saddle and shorts play an important part in preventing saddle-related problems. There are different kinds of saddles available in the market. There are no details about their scientific validation.
Other less common symptoms include priapism (constant erection of penis), penile vein thrombosis, haematuria (blood in the urine), prostatitis (inflammation of prostate) and elevated serum PSA (prostate specific antigen - one of the blood tests used for prostate cancer).