Cincinnati, Ohio - August 7, 2008 - An innovative study appearing in the August issue of The Journal of Sexual Medicine examined, for the first time, if noseless bicycle saddles would be an effective intervention for alleviating deleterious health effects, erectile dysfunction and groin numbness, caused by bicycling on the traditional saddle with a protruding nose extension. Results from this study may be useful for the estimated 5 million recreational cyclists to alleviate perineal discomfort and maintain sexual health.
Ninety bicycling police officers from 5 metropolitan regions in the U.S. (Northwest, Southern, Desert West, Midwest, and Southeast) using traditional saddles were evaluated prior to changing saddles and then again after 6 months of using the noseless bicycle saddle.
The findings show that use of the noseless saddle resulted in a reduction in saddle contact pressure in the perineal region. There was a significant improvement in penile tactile sensation, and the number of men indicating they had not experienced genital numbness while cycling for the preceding 6 months rose from 27 percent to 82 percent using no-nose saddles. Use of the noseless saddle also resulted in significant increases in erectile function as assessed by the initial evaluation, but there were no significant changes noted in Rigiscan® measures, a method used to record penile rigidity while the subject sleeps. With few exceptions, bicycle police officers were able to effectively use no-nose saddles in their police work and 97 percent of officers completing the study continued to use the no-nose saddle afterward.
Dr. Steven Schrader of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health in Cincinnati, first author of the study and the recent co-recipient along with his research team of a Bullard-Sherwood Research-to-Practice Award in the Interventions Category for "Health Effects of Occupational Cycling" stated, "No-nose saddles are a useful intervention for bicycling police officers alleviating pressure to the groin and improving penis health. Different saddle designs may require some re-learning of 'how to ride a bicycle,' but the health benefits to having unrestricted vascular flow to and from the penis and less penile numbness is self-evident."
Dr. Irwin Goldstein, Director, Sexual Medicine, Alvarado Hospital, San Diego C.A., and editor-in-chief of The Journal of Sexual Medicine, wrote an accompanying editorial entitled "The A, B, C's of The Journal of Sexual Medicine: Awareness, Bicycle Seats, and Choices".
"For the first time, we have a prospective study of healthy policemen riding bikes on the job, using wider, no-nose bike saddles for 6 months. Not only did their sensation improve, their erectile function also improved. Changing saddles changed physiology. This is a landmark study for our field that that is important for future riders, and modification of lifestyle showing improvement without any active treatment."
The study and editorial are published in the August 2008 issue of The Journal of Sexual Medicine. Media wishing to receive PDF copies may contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Steven Schrader is Head of the Reproductive Health Assessment Team at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. He can be reached for questions at 513-533-8210.
Dr. Irwin Goldstein is Director of Sexual Medicine, Alvarado Hospital San Diego and Clinical Professor of Surgery at University of California San Diego. He can be reached at San Diego Sexual Medicine 619-265-8865.
Article: "Cutting Off the Nose to Save the Penis." Steven M. Schrader, Michael J. Breitenstein, Brian D. Lowe. DOI: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2008.00867.x Volume 5 Issue 8 (August 2008).
Editorial: "The A, B, C's of The Journal of Sexual Medicine: Awareness, Bicycle Seats, and Choices." Irwin Goldstein. DOI: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2008.00952.x Volume 5 Issue 8 (August 2008).
The Journal of Sexual Medicine was founded in 2004 and is the official journal of the International Society for Sexual Medicine, its five regional affiliated societies and the International Society for the Study of Women's Sexual Health. It publishes multi-disciplinary basic science and clinical research to define and understand the scientific basis of male and female sexual function and dysfunction. www.jsm.issm.info.
The International Society for Sexual Medicine (ISSM) was founded in 1982 for the purpose of promoting, throughout the international scientific community, research and knowledge in sexual medicine, considered as the subspecialty area of medicine that embraces the study, diagnosis and treatment of the sexual health concerns of men and women. The society has over 2700 members worldwide, with five regional societies that are affiliated with ISSM: the Africa Gulf Society for Sexual Medicine, Asia Pacific Society for Sexual Medicine, European Society for Sexual Medicine, Latin American Society for Sexual Medicine, and Sexual Medicine Society of North America. For more information please visit www.issm.info.
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