Ballina biker laughs off impotence link
TERRY COOK gave a wry smile when asked his opinion on a new international study that warned riding a motorcycle could lead to impotence.
“I think it's a joke,” said the Harley-riding father of three who spoke to The Northern Star on his honeymoon.
The survey of more than 230 motorcyclists who rode their bikes for more than three hours every weekend found almost 70 per cent had problems gaining erections or emptying their bladders.
“I've never had any problems. I've sat on a bike from Sydney to Ballina and got home to the missus and didn't have any hassles,” Mr Cook said with a knowing wink.
Doctors in Japan recently published two studies in the International Journal of Impotence Research that suggested hard seats on most motorcycles put too much pressure on the perineum, the area between the anus and scrotum, and restricted blood flow to the penis.
They said the engine vibrations decreased two growth hormones related to bladder relaxation.
All men in the study had been sexually active in the past six months and none had any illnesses.
About 76 per cent of riders aged 40 to 49, and 93 per cent of those aged 50 to 59, reported severe erectile dysfunction, compared with 37 per cent and 42 per cent respectively among those who did not ride motorcycles.
Impotence Australia executive director Brett McCann said the research findings were interesting and warranted further work, but added it was far too early to tell people it was time to swap their motorcycles for a car.
“They shouldn't stop riding motorcycles based on this report, but any guy, whether they ride a motorcycle or not, who has seen a decline in sexual function should see their doctor,” he said.
Mr Cook said he had never experienced any pain after riding long hours, other than the need for a good stretch once he got off his bike.
“It's the same if you drive a car. When you get out you need to stretch, but I wouldn't call it pain,” he said.
Mr Cook's father, an avid rider, first put him on a bike when he was five years old. He said he would be happy for his sons to follow the family tradition.
“I reckon riding a bike actually helps things. It stimulates the mind and the body,” Mr Cook said.