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Mountain Biking May Reduce Fertility

There´s some news of interest today for mountain bikers who regularly rattle their way down trails around the Sierra. A small Austrian study says frequent mountain-biking may reduce fertility in men.

The research suggests frequent jolts and vibration caused by biking over rough terrain may cause abnormalities, including small scars within the scrotum and impaired sperm production.

The abnormalities were found in professional mountain bikers and other “extreme” bikers who logged at least 3,000 miles yearly – or an average of more than two hours a day, six days a week.

The author is Doctor Frauscher, a urology-radiology specialist at University Hospital in Innsbruck, Austria. He says he studied about 55 avid mountain bikers and found nearly 90 percent had low sperm counts and scrotal abnormalities.

Only 26 percent of the 35 non-bikers he studied had similar damage. The research is being presented at this week´s annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America.