There are some uncomfortable truths about cycling that often cannot be avoided. Saddle sores, urinary infections and period dramas can plague our ride, and yet we persevere and pedal on through it. Unlike these afflictions where there are many tips and tricks, creams and products to help alleviate symptoms, what can you do about sexual dysfunction?
Saddles aren’t the most comfortable of perches for your undercarriage, and whether you’re a man or woman, it can cause a number of issues like numbness, bruising and even discomfort when passing water.
Our genitals are a complex system of nerves and soft tissue and there’s a lot going on down there for both genders. It’s commonly believed that the pressure and friction which builds up from sitting on a saddle can damage the nerves which are responsible for sexual function and the ability to achieve orgasm.
With the growing popularity of cycling, researchers in the US decided to investigate whether there was any credibility to the link between sexual dysfunction and cycling. The American Urological Association and the Urology department at the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine carried out a study on over 4,000 male cyclists and 2,700 female cyclists.
The results showed that female cyclists have a higher chance of developing a UTI, but that urinary symptoms were no different from women who participate in other activities. In fact, the research showed that female cyclists actually have higher scores in sexual function.