This page is being served from the Urological Sciences Research Foundation web repository, and was originally posted between 1996-2008. In January 2009 USRF’s founder, Dr. Leonard S. Marks and his staff joined UCLA’s Department of Urology where they are continuing their research. Click for more information.
However, if Dr. Irwin Goldstein is correct, a major readjustment in our attitude toward bike riding -- or bike safety -- is in order. And his own studies, published in the Journal of Urology show that, at least theoretically, a scientific basis is present for his claim. Dr. Goldstein has estimated that 100,000 men suffer erectile dysfunction from bike-riding induced trauma. At least three manufacturers of bike seats have addressed the issue of traumatic compression, and their new seat designs are shown below. All aim to keep weight off of the midline perineum, away from the urethra, the prostate gland, and the arterial blood supply.
Update: Here's a list of manufacturers that are selling some of these ergonomic bike seats on the internet:
The topic remains controversial, even among experts. In a recent interview with the Los Angeles Times (2/8/99), Dr. Harin Padma-Nathan, another impotency authority, said, "I'm unconvinced that bicycling, for the vast majority of men, is an important cause of impotence or erectile dysfunction. Will biking cause impotence for the average cyclist, and does that risk outweigh the sport's cardiovascular benefits?" he asked. "I think the answer is no on both counts."
Dr. Goldstein's bike-riding/impotency hypothesis is addressed in three (3) research papers -- his own recent work, plus studies from Germany and Florida -- to be presented at the annual meeting of the American Urological Association in Dallas, TX, April 30-May 5, 1999.
On a related note----
For the bicycle history buffs...