Conflicting evidence exists on the relationship between bicycle riding and erectile dysfunction (ED). A major limitation to several prior studies is the lack of a validated measure of ED.
To assess the relationship between cycling and clinically validated ED based on existing literature.
We searched several major databases from database inception through 2018 using a variety of search terms relating to “cycling” and “erectile dysfunction.” Studies were included if they were written in English, reported original data, compared ED between cyclists and non-cycling controls, and used a validated measure of ED, such as the International Index of Erectile Function or the subset Sexual Health Inventory for Men (SHIM). Age, SHIM score, and comorbidities were extracted for all groups. Primary outcomes for each group were mean SHIM score and presence of ED (SHIM ≤ 21). A generalized linear mixed-effects model was used to fit the collected data for meta-analysis. Main outcome measures were unadjusted odds ratios of ED for cyclists and non-cyclists, mean SHIM score difference between cyclists and noncyclists, and both of these measures adjusted for age and comorbidities.
After a systematic evaluation of 843 studies, 6 studies met our inclusion criteria, encompassing 3,330 cyclists and 1,524 non-cycling controls. When comparing cyclists to non-cyclists in an unadjusted analysis, there were no significant differences in the odds of having ED or mean SHIM score. However, when controlling for age and comorbidities, cyclists had significantly higher odds of having ED (odds ratio: 2.00; 95% confidence interval: 1.57, 2.55).
Limited evidence supports a positive correlation between cycling and ED when adjusting for age and several comorbidities. Heterogeneity among studies suggests that further investigation into certain populations of cyclists that may be more vulnerable to ED may be beneficial. Gan ZS, Ehlers ME, Lin FC, et al. Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Cycling and Erectile Dysfunction. Sex Med 2020;XX:XXX-XXX.

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