…Freeze your sperm! – Now that the Tour de France is on, scientists want to remind would-be professional cyclists (and the rest of us?) that they should consider freezing their sperm before spending too much time on that bike.

When men who had been training on bicycles for an average of nine times a week for eight years were compared to men who spent an ordinary amount of time on bikes, they were found to have less than 10% normal looking sperm, compared with 15-20% in the most fertile men. Sperm may also be affected by riding stationary bikes at the gym, so males should be careful to vary their exercise routine.

One solution is to freeze some of your sperm before taking up that kind of exercise. On the other hand, 40 years ago riding a bicycle was much more common than it is in most places these days, and there is no evidence that men were less fertile in those days.

In BBC News, Emma Wilkinson quotes researcher Allan Pacey as saying, “It is important to stress that even if the association between cycling and poor sperm morphology is correct, men training for triathlons are spending much more time in the saddle than the average social cycler or someone who might cycle to and from work.”

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