Sex and the Serious Cyclist

Can prolonged bicycling put enough pressure on a man's anatomy to cause impotence?

Let's call him Joe. Like a lot of kids, he learned to ride a bike when he was 5 or 6. By his 20s, Joe was cycling 10 or more hours a week. He noticed an uncomfortable numbness in his genital area from time to time, particularly after long rides. But Joe didn't think much of it until he started having trouble maintaining an erection. A trip to the urologist's office confirmed that Joe's impotence was primarily a physical problem--not enough blood was flowing into his penis. Could years of bike riding somehow be to blame?

Absolutely, says Joe's physician, Dr....

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