Sitting for long periods of time on a bicycle seat has been linked to erectile dysfunction in men and now a new study says it doesn’t do much for woman’s sexual health either.
Bike seats are designed so that the riders body weight typically rests on the hose of the seat, that weight can cause nerves and blood vessels to compress in the genital area.
In 2006 a Yale university found that female cyclists have less genital sensation compared to a control group of female runners. The new study was also conducted at Yale university and this time researchers attempted to find out what factors lead to soreness and numbness among female riders.
Researchers had forty-eight women in the study, each who rode a minimum of 10 miles per week with some participants biking for even further distances. Researchers had the women mount their own bikes on a stationary machine and as they felt soreness, tingling and other sensations they would alert researchers who would then measure sensation in the pelvic floor.
Researchers found that the position of a cyclists handlebars had the biggest effect. Women with handlebars positioned lower than their seats experiences more pressure which led to decreased sensation in the pelvic floor.
The groups full findings are published online in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, it’s a good read for female riders who want to learn how they can minimize a loss of sensation however researchers admit that a long-term study still needs to be completed in order to identify further cycling risks.