Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Can cycling affect your fertility?

According to a study carried out by researchers at the University of Cordoba Medical School in Spain, professional cyclists should consider freezing their sperm prior to commencing their careers as a cyclist!

15 triathletes with an average age of 33 were asked to produce sperm for analysis and the results were compared with their training routines.  The study found that only cycling, and not swimming or running affected their sperm quality.  Those who covered more than 186 miles a week on their bikes had less than 4% normal looking sperm.

Another research carried out at Boston University suggests that men who cycle for more than five hours a week have fewer and less active sperm than men who do not exercise at all.  The study looked at the sperm quality of more than 2,200 men visiting fertility clinics.  The results showed no difference in sperm quality between those who did general exercise and those that didn’t exercise at all, but interestingly those who specifically cycled for at least 5 hours a week were twice as likely to have both low sperm count and poor motility.

It is important to note however that the study was carried out amongst men who were attending fertility clinics, thus more likely to have fertility problems.  The researchers have stated that more research is needed to replicate the findings of this study over a wider population group.

The link between fertility and cycling is believed to be the effect of temperature rises and scrotum trauma that occur as a result of regular cycling.

If you are considering coming into our sperm bank for an initial sperm analysis, it is important to not worry about a poor result especially if you cycle as such activities have yet to be proven as concrete causes of poor sperm counts and certainly not as sole reasons for poor quality.  It is more important to ensure that you are fit and healthy, reduce alcohol intake and smoking habits and limit exposure to sexually transmitted infections by practising safe sex!