Recent research has investigated a variety testicular disorders associated with mountain biking, which can include scrotal injuries, low sperm count, erectile dysfunction, and unusually high scrotal temperatures. New research in Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, examined gonadal function and testosterone levels in male mountain bikers.
Researchers studied 22 professional mountain bikers and 30 healthy noncyclist. Measures were taken for each group assessing the levels of testosterone, sex-hormone binding globulin, luteinizing hormone, and follicle-stimulating hormone. After assessing all measurements researchers concluded that male mountain bikers had a significantly lower testosterone concentration when compared to the noncycling control group.
An older study from The Lancet assessed extreme mountain bikers and testicular disorders and found a high rate of trauma to the scrotal area. Researchers asserted that this may have been as a result of mountain biking on very rough terrain. Of the 45 cyclists examined in the study an overwhelming 96% were diagnosed with pathological abnormalities of the scrotum, scrotal tenderness, and testicular discomfort.
The issues of testicular disorders and lower testosterone levels in cyclists appears to be complex and multifaceted topic that and requires further research with a larger demographics. Research should also examine an athlete’s performance in relation to the lower measures of testosterone.