How cycling can reduce a woman's sexual enjoyment (unless you raise the handlebars)
18:42 GMT, 14 May 2012
Women who cycle regularly are at risk of decreased sensation in the pelvic region, a new study has showed.
Scientists at Yale University found that female cyclists may experience less pleasure during sex if the handlebars of their bike are lower than the seat.
They learned that a low handlebar position puts extra pressure on nerves and blood vessels, or neuropathies, in the genital area.
Dangers: Female cyclists are advised to raise the handlebars on their bikes in order to avoid decreased sensation in the pelvic region (image posed by model)
The study reported that modifying a bicycle's setup by raising its handlebars 'helps alleviate neuropathies' in females.
The findings, which were published in the Journal Of Sexual Medicine, were based on analysis of 48 women who each rode at least ten miles per week, four weeks per month.
Researchers had each participant
mount their own bike on a stationary machine.
They were asked to speak out if they
experienced 'soreness, tingling and other sensations'.
Sensation in the woman's pelvic floor was then measured by a researcher using a pressure map.
Genital sensation was 'measured in microns using biosthesiometry measures of vibratory thresholds'.
study explained: 'Handlebars positioned lower than the saddle
correlated with increased perineum saddle pressures and decreased
anterior vaginal and left labial genital sensation.'
research follows a 2006 study from the same university, which acknowledged an association between
cycling and decreased genital sensation, but not a reason for it.
While the effects of bike-riding for long periods of time have widely been linked to male erectile dysfunction, effects on a woman's sexual health are often overlooked.