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Dear Dr. Kate: Can Bike-Riding Injure My Clitoris?

Thu, Dec 3, 2009

Advice, What's Up Doc?

woman_bike_bicyclephoto by Eleaf

Dr. Kate is an OB/GYN at one of the largest teaching hospitals in New York City and she answers your medical questions here once a week. To ask her your own question, click here.

Dear Dr. Kate,

As a full-time student with a full-time job in a very bike-friendly college town, I ride my bike a lot (3-10 miles daily). However, I’ve noticed that after a lot of riding, I do not feel all too comfortable down there. I’ve bought a new bike seat and, from a quick porn-viewing/Google image search, I’ve concluded that I don’t have an unusually large clit. What I’m wondering is, can I injure my clitoris or reduce sensitivity from daily bike rides?

– Saddle Sore

Dear Saddle Sore,

There’s no evidence that you can injure or impair clitoral sensation from repeated friction and/or pressure…but it also hasn’t been studied in a clinical trial! My advice would be, if something causes you chronic pain, change what you’re doing, because chronic irritation isn’t good for any body part. A new bike seat is a good start — experiement with different styles until you find the right fit. Also, you could apply a silicone-based lubricant or Vaseline to the clitoral hood and labia to help prevent chafing (though probably not directly on the clitoris itself). FYI, silicone lube will wash off more easily than Vaseline, which is probably a good thing if you’re sensitive to irritation since Vaseline has a tendency to linger. Whatever you end up doing, however, I doubt that long-term injury would occur from bike-riding.

– Dr. Kate
Gynotalk
dr_kate_100
Dr. Kate is an OB/GYN at one of the largest teaching hospitals in New York City. She also lectures nationally on women’s health issues and conducts research on reproductive health. Check out more of her advice and ask her a question at Gynotalk.com.

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4 Responses to “Dear Dr. Kate: Can Bike-Riding Injure My Clitoris?”

  1. S Says:

    Saddle Sore,

    First, in the name of full disclosure, I don;t own a clitorus. However, I do own a penis and I have spent a lot of time on bikes. I also have a wife and several female friends that ride all the time.

    My first question might be a bit obvious but did you buy a seat that was the right ‘size’ for you? This is most likely a woman’s seat but even if it was, one size does not fit all.

    Rather than reinvent the wheel, I would refer you to two web-pages on the web-site of the legendary Sheldon Brown. Sheldon passed away a few years back but I am sure that he would love being referred to from Em & Lo’s site. Biking is sexy!

    A comfortable saddle: http://sheldonbrown.com/saddles.html

    Women’s Issues: http://sheldonbrown.com/saddles.html#women

  2. S Says:

    P.S. Are you riding in cycling shorts? If not, know that there are liners that can be worn under regular clothing (although some find them a bit bulky – some are better than others). I have a friend that uses them on his motorcycle when touring long distances.

  3. Ashley Says:

    Not trying to advertise, but Schwinn makes a “comfort seat” that doesn’t have the obnoxious thing that pokes up the middle (I’m sure there’s a name, but I don’t know it). I don’t ride as much as Saddle Sore, but a normal seat drove me crazy, too. The comfort seat really takes away a lot of the pressure.

  4. Bettyboo Says:

    Cycling shorts make a HUGE difference to comfort.. if, like me, you have no intention of showing your lycra clad rear to the world, you can get combat like trousers that are baggy with padded lycra shorts that fit underneath, they stretch in all the right places for cycling and are cut so the padded shorts don’t give you that nappy (diaper?) wearing look underneath.


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