Handlebar level can affect sexual health of female cyclists

July 9, 2012

A new study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine reveals that handlebar position is associated with changes in genital sensation in female cyclists.

Led by Marsha K. Guess, MD, MS, of Yale University School of Medicine, researchers evaluated bicycle set-up in terms of the relationship between the seat and the handlebars. 48 competitive women cyclists were studied.

Researchers measured saddle pressures and sensation in the genital region to see if placing handlebars in different positions affects pressure and sensation in the genital region. Results showed that placing the handlebar lower than the seat was associated with increased pressure on the genital region and decreased sensation (reduced ability to detect vibration).

"Modifying bicycle set-up may help prevent genital in female cyclists," Guess notes. "Chronic insult to the genital nerves from increased saddle pressures could potentially result in sexual dysfunction."

"There are a myriad of factors affecting women's . If women can minimize pressure application to the genital tissues merely by repositioning their handlebars higher, to increase sitting upright, and thereby maximize pressure application to the woman's sit bones, then they are one step closer to maintaining their very important sexual health," explained Irwin Goldstein, editor-in-chief of The Journal of .

Explore further: Recurring genital problems could be herpes

More information: Guess et al. “The Bar Sinister: Does Handlebar Level Damage the Pelvic Floor in Female Cyclists?” The Journal of Sexual Medicine 2012. DOI: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2012.02680.x

Related Stories

Recurring genital problems could be herpes

April 11, 2011

A study of patients attending sexual health clinics in Gothenburg found that just four out of ten patients with genital herpes actually knew that they had the disorder. However, a third of those who did not realise that they ...

Bicycle handlebar position affects female genital sensation

March 16, 2012

(HealthDay) -- Low handlebar positioning relative to the bicycle saddle is associated with increased perineal saddle pressure and decreased sensation in critical pelvic floor structures, according to research published online ...

Recommended for you

Children born in the summer more likely to be healthy adults

October 12, 2015

Women who were born in the summer are more likely to be healthy adults, suggests new research published in the journal Heliyon. The authors of the study, which involved almost half a million people in the UK, say more sunlight ...

Mobile app records our erratic eating habits

September 24, 2015

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner? For too many of us, the three meals of the day go more like: office meeting pastry, mid-afternoon energy drink, and midnight pizza. In Cell Metabolism on September 24, Salk Institute scientists ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.