Even cycling can cause erectile dysfunction New Delhi, July 13, 2016: Age, diabetes, hypertension, obesity, high lipids, smoking, drugs, heart disease, and upright cycling for more than 3 hours a week can cause erectile dysfunction in men. "Those who cycle for more than 3 hours a week should do so in a reclining position and not upright position," said Padma Shri Awardee Dr KK Aggarwal – President Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI) and Honorary Secretary General IMA. A man is considered to have erectile dysfunction when he cannot acquire or sustain an erection of sufficient rigidity for sexual intercourse. Any man may, at one time or another during his life, experience periodic or isolated sexual failures. The term "impotent" is reserved for those men who experience erectile failure during attempted intercourse more than 75% of the time. Heart disease increases the risk for later erectile dysfunction. Erectile dysfunction may be an early warning sign of future heart disease. Men with erectile dysfunction without an obvious cause (e.g., pelvic trauma), and who have no symptoms of heart disease, should be screened for heart disease prior to treatment since there are potential cardiac risks associated with sexual activity in patients with heart disease. Eight of the twelve most common prescription medications list erectile dysfunction as a side effect. It is estimated that 25% of the cases of erectile dysfunction are due to drugs. Depression, stress, or the drugs used to treat depression can result in erectile dysfunction as well. Neurological causes of erectile dysfunction include stroke, spinal cord or back injury, multiple sclerosis, and dementia. In addition, pelvic trauma, prostate surgery or priapism may cause erectile dysfunction. Anything that places prolonged pressure on the pudendal and cavernosal nerves or compromises blood flow to the penile artery can result in penile numbness and impotence. Cycling-induced impotence is primarily a problem of serious cyclists and is reported to occur in Norwegian men competing in a 540-km bicycle race. Penile numbness is attributed to the pressure on the perineal nerves whereas erectile dysfunction is thought to be due to a decrease in oxygen pressure in the pudendal arteries. Recreational cyclists, those who cycle for less than three hours per week, and men who cycle in a reclining position avoid the sustained intense pressure on the penile nerve and artery and are less likely to experience sexual side effects. Continued cycling in a seated upright position can reduce the penile oxygen levels lasting 10 minutes.