According to this new research on mountain biking it is observed that it could decrease a man's fertility. Dr.Ferdinand Frauscher, M.D., from University Hospital in Innsbruck, Austria, presented his findings of a study that looked at fertility in male mountain bikers.
45 extreme mountain bikers and 30 non-bikers took part in the study. An extreme biker was defined as someone who rides more than two hours a day, six days a week, and more than 3,000 miles a year.
In his presentation, Dr. Frauscher said more than 10 million Americans mountain bike, a number that has risen in recent years. While the sport has been associated for some time with erectile dysfunction, this study looked at whether there is a link between the sport and reduced fertility.
Semen analysis was performed on the bikers and non-bikers and the two groups were compared. Dr. Frauscher reported at today's meeting that bikers had a sperm count of 22 million/ml and 30 percent motility. Non-bikers showed a sperm count of 48 million/ml and a motility of 50 percent. According to him both are statistically significant.
Further analysis by Dr. Frauscher and colleagues suggests the reduction in count and motility may be related to vascular damage caused by continuous trauma to the testicles.
The ultrasound images taken during the study also indicate mountain bikers have an increased risk for calcifications in the testicles and other problems, which may increase a man's risk for testicular cancer.
Dr. Frauscher propose that men who mountain bike use a bike with a shock absorber as well as padded cushions and shorts to reduce the amount of trauma inflicted on the testicles.