There are many people who enjoy cycling. There is also a new term “self-sufficiency” that refers to people commuting by bicycle. Bicycles are used for health and daily convenience. However, because of the incorrect posture and uncomfortable saddle, women sometimes experience swollen vulva and pain. You may have vaginitis. It is because of the characteristics of the Y-zone, which is different from the male anatomy. Here is how to ride a bike safely while reducing Y-zone stimulation.
■ Causes uncomfortable saddle and pain in the vulva
Cycling is an aerobic exercise that helps both men and women of all ages. However, women may have problems with the Y zone if they ride a bicycle for a long time on an uncomfortable saddle with incorrect posture.
First of all, bikers may experience typical vulva discomfort and pain. The main reason is the bike saddle does not fit the pelvic features of a woman correctly.
Women have a pelvis width that is about 1 cm wider than men. Part of the pelvis, the vulva area near the pubic bone, which is a bone forming a triangular shape in front of the pelvis, comes into contact with the saddle and is pressed or rubbed, causing pain and discomfort.
In particular, those riding a bicycle with a long supporting top frame must extend the arms too far to grip the handle. In this position, the front of the saddle compresses the pubic bone more strongly, making the vulva discomfort worse. The supporting frame is a long tube located at the top of the bicycle frame which runs from the front wheel to the rear wheel. Most bicycles are made to fit the body of a man, so the length of the top tube is rather long for women, exacerbating this problem.
In this case, you can reduce the stimulation of the vulva by adjusting the height and angle of the bicycle saddle. The angle of the front of the saddle of the bicycle can be adjusted so that it is slightly lower than the horizontal.
■ The wrong pants leads to vaginitis
It is recommended to avoid jeans or cotton pants when riding a bicycle. Jeans have a seam stitch stitched over the buttocks which can scratch the saddle. Sweat-absorbing cotton fabrics make the female Y-zone a hot and humid environment that can promote the growth of germs and fungi.
If this situation continues long enough, you may develop vaginitis. When riding a bicycle, it is recommended to wear a functional undergarment with good ventilation. It is further recommended that the bottoms contain cushions that relieve shock from the hips, such as the pelvis and pubic bones.
If you continue to have recurring vaginitis after riding the bicycle, you should stop riding for a while. After riding a bicycle, you must pay attention to the hygiene of the female Y zone.
■ Risk of cystitis due to E. coli
Women who cycle frequently should also be aware of the risk of cystitis caused by E. coli. E. coli is a bacteria which is typically found around the anus. The female anus is about 4 cm in length, typically shorter than men. Thus, women are more prone to exposure to E. coli because the anus and urethra are closer.
In particular, the area that touches the saddle extends from the vulva to the anus, so you need to be take extra care. If you have cystitis, you may find that unwanted urination occurs. When urinating, you can see a hematuria that is bitter, painful, and bloody.
To prevent cystitis, it's a good idea to drink plenty of water and urinate frequently while riding a bicycle, as it helps to release bacteria such as E. coli.