Can cycling affect my vaginal health?

Cycling is a fantastic way to stay active, but the exertion may leave you feeling a bit weird down there.  You may leave class wondering: Will this have any long-term consequences?

Before we go ahead and cancel our cycling class let’s get a refresher course on female anatomy

We won’t go over all the bits of the female anatomy but we do need to discuss a few parts. First, the pudendal nerve is the main nerve in our pelvic area. If there’s pressure applied in the area, it can impact the nerve. Brief compression will make the area feel numb but will go away once the pressure does. Chronic compression over time can, in rare cases, cause actual damage.

Vagina Map
Illustration of a Vagina, hood of clitoris, clitoris, labia majora, vestibular bulbs, bartholin glands, urethra, vaginal opening, labia minora

The Bartholin’s glands are important for generating natural lubrication, this can affect sexual arousal. If they get blocked, it can create a cyst which can be painful. Small cysts can be treated with good hygiene, warm compresses, and antibacterial soap.

Can my bike seat hurt me? 

Yes,  it can, and so can other elements of the bike may also collide with your genital area, causing a straddle injury.  

What are the causes of a Straddle injury?

 Straddle injury can happen through straddling a hard object or from an accident such as 

  • The crossbar on a bicycle
  • Gym equipment
  • Jumping over a fence or wall

The injury has the potential to cause damage to the outer genitals as well as bleeding and pain. An injury like this if not treated can lead to cancer.

What symptoms could I experience due to Straddle Injury?

  • Pain
  • Bruising
  • Swelling
  • Bleeding

To name a few

What we wear also affects the health of our vagina

The most common vaginal disorders among female bikers are cycle chafing, bacterial infections, and yeast infections. These are generally caused by the extra dampness and heat-induced by bike riding. The most important thing is to wear clean underwear or shorts and to take them off as soon as you complete your bike.

Dr. Javier Saldaña

Dr. Javier Saldaña is a board-certified OBGYN that practices at VIDA Clinic in Tijuana. He specializes in Vaginal Surgery, Laser Vaginal Surgery, Urinary Incontinence & more. He is certified by the Mexican Council of Gynecology & Obstetrics and The Laser Vaginal Rejuvenation Insitute of America en Beverlyhills, Los Angeles, California.