Cycling is an excellent aerobic exercise because it increases muscle strength and flexibility, increases cardiovascular fitness, improves joint mobility, improves posture and coordination, decreases stress levels, reduces body fat levels and strengthens bones. However, research suggests that there may be one significant drawback for female cyclist. According to the study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, women who spend too much time cycling are at an increased risk of losing vaginal sensation and may experience less pleasure during sex.
How did researchers come to this conclusion?
Researchers at Yale University conducted a study in 2016 to investigate how hopping on a bike and running affects sexual health in women. A vibrator was used to measure the sensation where female cyclists reported decreased genital sensation compared to women cyclists.
To follow up their previous findings, the same researchers also carried out a secondary research in 2012. Their aim was to analyze how some factors such as seat positions and bike handlebar affect female cyclists’ genital sensitivity.
The study, which is published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, found that particular bikes used by female cyclists had an impact on the vaginal and labial genital sensation. Researchers discovered that cyclists who use bicycles with handlebars lower than the saddle are likely to experience more repercussions. The reason for this is that those types of handlebars increase perineum saddle pressures which in turn leads to the compression of the blood vessels and tissues of the genital region. These activities ultimately affect the left labial genital sensation. Signs of affected labial genital include tingling, pain and even numbness.
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Are men cyclist affected too?
Female cyclists aren’t the only ones who are impacted by bike riding. Researchers have also discovered that male cyclists experience similar impacts on sexual sensations. They found that men who spend too much time cycling are at an increased risk of developing erectile dysfunction. Interestingly, male cyclists experience the opposite regarding body angle while cycling. While female cyclists experience more problems when they use bikes with handlebars lower than their seats, male cyclists are more likely to experience more problems when their handlebars are higher.
No need to panic though
If you love your bike, but you don’t want to risk losing sexual sensations, there is no reason to panic over making an impossible choice. You can keep up your cycling habit and still maintain a sensitive genital. There is a lot you can do to minimize chances of getting the impact.
For instance, some simple tweaks on your bicycle can protect your genital health. If you are using a bike that is likely to cause the results, investing in a nice cushion can be a great chance to treat yourself right. Also, changing the setup of your bicycle may help prevent vaginal nerve damage. That said, you will need to set your bike’s handlebars higher than the seats.
If you are a male cyclist, researchers studying about erectile dysfunction caused by too much cycling recommend the use of a no-nose bicycle saddle. A bike with this type of seat forces you to sit on your sit-bones protecting your fragile genital region.