Chronic prostatitis and cycling - Men's Health Forum

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Chronic prostatitis and cycling

Thehillbill profile image

I am posting here, to see if anyone has any comments on the connection between prostatitis/utis and cycling. I've had ( at least ) two instances, where there has been pretty conclusive evidence of a direct causal link between my cycling and a UTI, which the urologist concludes is connected with chronic prostatitis. Whether this is bacterial or non-bacterial appears to be very difficult to confirm. The UTI clears up readily with Macrobid, or UriFos. But the lingering dull ache continues intermittently. I don't have any classic prostate and urinary or sexual issues and a recent PSA test shows a reading of 1.2 - for what thats worth. A consultant with very respected credentials tells me that I need to be ' aggressive ' and drive out the deep seated infection ...without being certain it is a bacterial problem. Ciprofloxacin was one of the cocktail recommended, and I am not able to commit to taking that rather brutal course, as the side effects don't look good for a 66 year old, who is very active, both on and off the road bike.

So, I am interested initially in seeing if anyone else has anything to contribute on this subject. Thanks

12 Replies

External trauma and internal infection do not appear to be linked. How is external trauma introducing infection to an internal organ?

This is a helpful article:

Thehillbill profile image
Thehillbill in reply to

Thanks. I had seen this interesting article. I think the theory goes something like this: bulbar urethra lies in the perineum quite close to the surface, and repeated trauma due to bad seat or clothing can set up inflammation which can lead to infection, which can become chronic. Of course the prostate is nowhere near the perineum so the seat related trauma could never directly affect the prostate gland. But it’s all a bit of conjecture really! Thanks for your input.

in reply to Thehillbill

Where does the infection come from? That is what I am struggling with. Unless of course the infection is always there and never quite goes.

Hi....I too have been similarly plagued for a number of years - long bouts of cycling - or not building myself up gradually when first venturing out after winter leading to chronic prostatitis - being treated with Ciprofloxacin amongst other things. I have had lots of tests over years trying to work out what was causing it and a camera down my urethra and plenty of finger exams over the years and its the same trigger - cycling. I took a year off with no problems for it to come back after 3 weeks back doing it. I have found putting on a bit of weight hasn't helped so I suppose losing more might help reduce it. Sometimes I can sense there will be a problem - the first symptom I get is the feeling of glass between my anus and testicles - maybe the day after a ride and maybe an hour cycling - so not a long cycle - and I have tried taking paracetamol for a couple of days and headed it off successfully - other times I need to see a GP as I had developed Flu like symptoms and then the nagging madness down there which I now know is prostatitis. I saw a urologist and his view was not to give up if I enjoyed it but try some different seating and ease myself in - doing shorter cycles and raising myself up every now and then. I did some research and purchased a couple of seats - there are quite a lot of prostate friendly ones - but the one I find the best is this one at the end - its not sporty and my mates tease me for it being quite big but it can be adjusted by removing and adjusting some hidden pegs to allow more movement in your hips so easing continuous pressure - and I find that my weight ( 15st 10lb) is spread more evenly and not pressing on my prostate like a traditional seat. Having read other forums trying to work out what my issue was it seems some people are more affected by pressure there than others. The seat I use is a - SQ Lab Saddle 621 Active - worth a try exploring some seating options....

Hi. That’s really interesting. I’ve had a very similar experience with DRE and cystoscopies, which reveal no underlying cause for concern. This has really only been an issue for about 15 months for me. I’ve been a keen cyclist for about 15 years. From what you say, I get the impression that the Ciprofloxacin therapy was not completely effective in eradicating the root cause. What was your experience with that drug? I’ve heard that it can be pretty brutal in terms of side effects, so would like to try and avoid it, and persist with other approaches. I have had exactly the same advice from the professionals about continuing with cycling, while taking greater care with saddle and clothing design. I’ve now a saddle on my indoor training bike which looks very odd! It’s two entirely separate buttock pads! ( another SQlab design.... Hobson Easyseat ) I’ve just started using that following a recent UTI and a month of Macrobid. I’ve also bought another design ( ISM PN 3.1 ) for the road bike, and will see where I am once the weather allows outdoor riding again. I hope your issues stay away. Thanks.

Hi....over the years I have found Ciprofloxacin the most effective - less than two weeks it comes back - and a months course has always worked - only side effect I have had is occasional penile thrush which has gone away with a one time Thrush pill from the chemist. I have sometimes taken Ibuprofen at same time to try and take any inflammation away for a few days. Ive not had any other side effects and the Prostatitis drove me so mad that I was glad to find something that got rid of it - I suppose all these things are a balance and if its short term the gains are worth it. Glad to hear you have a work around for the indoor bike and a solution for your road bike.....I used to feel a bit odd when my giant bike seat was next to others riding on a tiny bit of hard plastic but if they had suffered like we had they would come to the same conclusion!.

PS - here is the full link - there is a choice of sizes as well -

I had two courses of cipro about five years ago for suspected prostatitis. I did not experience any unpleasant side effects. I appreciate that the low risk of Achilles’ tendon snapping is important. It is a very odd side effect!

Thehillbill profile image
Thehillbill in reply to

Did you have any definite benefits from the courses of treatment? I note you used the word ‘ suspected ‘. It seems definite diagnosis is very complicated and difficult. Thanks.

in reply to Thehillbill

Thehillbill - I used the word suspected because I never had any formal tests. It was purely a clinical diagnosis based on my symptoms. I had 2 thirty day courses of ciprofloxacin with a month between them, and my symptoms went away half way through the second course. I have been fine ever since. It was a horrible experience prior to the treatment.

Might not actually be the prostate. Suffering from similar problems myself and haven’t yet found an answer. There is a condition that is called Alcock’s canal syndrome/pudendal neuralgia/cyclists syndrome. This happens when pressure (such as cycling) compresses the nerve and arteries that run between the legs. In essence the Prostate itself might be normal but the nerves around it are causing problems, a bit like a trapped nerve elsewhere in the body. It seems quite credible, but for some reason many doctors regard it as a myth.

As far as cipro goes, was prescribed it once for 10 days. Will never touch the stuff again. Neuropathy symptoms in the extremities for about 3 months afterwards and back problems which are still coming and going 12 months later.

Uneasy10 wrote >>> " ...As far as cipro goes, was prescribed it once for 10 days. Will never touch the stuff again. Neuropathy symptoms in the extremities for about 3 months afterwards and back problems which are still coming and going 12 months later."

Possibly really BAD STUFF for athletic individuals and I too will never have it again even though I didn't have SE's.

RECUMBENT SEATS can be fabulous and at times the ONLY LONG TERM SOLUTION

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