Spending time on a bicycle seat has been linked to erectile dysfunction in men. A new study conducted by researchers at Yale shows that it may also be a hazard to women’s sexual health.
Bike seats are designed in such a way that a person’s body weight typically rests on the nose of the seat. This can compress nerves and blood vessels in the genital area. A study conducted by researchers at Yale in 2006 compared forty-eight female cyclists with a control group of female runners and found that the cyclists had less genital sensation. As a result, some scientists fear that female cyclists may be at risk for sexual problems.
Another study, conducted by Yale researchers and published online in The Journal of Sexual Medicine on March 5, 2012, looked closely at the position of the handlebars to see if bike position can be modified to put less stress on the perineum of female cyclists. The study concluded that handlebars positioned lower than the saddle were significantly associated with increased perineum saddle pressures and decreased genital sensation. Therefore, modifying bicycle set up may, indeed, help to alleviate the pressure placed on the perineum thus decreasing the risk for sexual problems.
If you are a female cyclist and are experiencing decreased genital sensation, talk with a qualified Gynecologist today. You may also want to consider modifying the position of your bike to avoid putting undo stress on your pelvic floor.