News

Riding a bike might not be the best for your vagina

Pin it

Ladies of Williamsburg, hold onto your vaginas. Turns out riding a bike doesn't only hurt the male parts — it can have numbing effects on your nether-regions too.

A new study from Yale University has found that female cyclists who biked more than ten miles a week experienced less "genital sensation" than female runners did. While this might not be as damning as the fact that biking can lead to erectile dysfunction in men, it still isn't great news for our sex lives. Here's how The New York Times explained the study:

"The researchers mounted the bikes on a stationary machine, and had the riders position their seats and handlebars according to their preference. As the women pedaled, they reported whether they felt soreness, numbness or tingling as a result of sitting on the bike seat, and a device was used to measure sensation in the pelvic floor."

No mention in the article or study abstract as to how long said numbness lasts, which seems like a pretty important detail. Are we talking permanent damage, or just temporary numbness that wears off faster than you can say kombucha and a shower? Details, details. But the study does offer one helpful tip: if you don't need to get anywhere fast, and don't mind looking like a tool, you're actually better off riding that Cruiser.

"Notably, it was the position of the handlebars that seemed to have the most effect. Women on bikes with handlebars positioned lower than their seats experienced more pressure in an area of soft tissue called the perineum, and had decreased sensation in the pelvic floor.

The researchers found that the lower the handlebars in relation to the saddle, the more a woman has to lean forward, forcing her to put a greater percentage of her body weight on the perineum. This problem is particularly likely to occur when a rider leans forward, flattens her back and puts her hands on the 'drop bars' of a road or track bicycle for a more aerodynamic position."

While I personally feel like much more of a sexual badass on my road bike, it's good to be informed. If you don't want to give up the drop bars, researchers also suggest getting a 'no-nose' seat to help eliminate some pressure. And if all else fails, hey, you can always find yourself another asexual cyclist to cuddle with.