Document Detail

Women's bike seats: a pressing matter for competitive female cyclists.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21834869     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
INTRODUCTION: There are numerous genital complaints in women cyclists, including pain, numbness, and edema of pelvic floor structures. Debate ensues about the best saddle design for protection of the pelvic floor.
AIM: To investigate the relationships between saddle design, seat pressures, and genital nerve function in female, competitive cyclists.
METHODS: We previously compared genital sensation in healthy, premenopausal, competitive women bicyclists and runners. The 48 cyclists from our original study comprise the study group in this subanalysis.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Main outcome measures were: (i) genital vibratory thresholds (VTs) determined using the Medoc Vibratory Sensation Analyzer 3000 and (ii) saddle pressures as determined using a specially designed map sensor.
RESULTS: More than half of the participants (54.8%) used traditional saddles, and the remainder (45.2%) rode with cut-out saddles. On bivariate analysis, use of traditional saddles was associated with lower mean perineal saddle pressures (MPSP) than riding on cut-out saddles. Peak perineal saddle pressures (PPSP) were also lower; however, the difference did not reach statistical significance. Saddle design did not affect mean or peak total saddle pressures (MTSP, PTSP). Saddle width was significantly associated with PPSP, MTSP, and PTSP but not with MPSP. Women riding cut-out saddles had, on average, a 4 and 11 kPa increase in MPSP and PPSP, respectively, compared with women using traditional saddles (P = 0.008 and P = 0.010), after adjustment for other variables. Use of wider saddles was associated with lower PPSP and MTSP after adjustment. Although an inverse correlation was seen between saddle pressures and VTs on bivariate analysis, these differences were not significant after adjusting for age.
CONCLUSION: Cut-out and narrower saddles negatively affect saddle pressures in female cyclists. Effects of saddle design on pudendal nerve sensory function were not apparent in this cross-sectional analysis. Longitudinal studies evaluating the long-term effects of saddle pressure on the integrity of the pudendal nerve, pelvic floor, and sexual function are warranted.
Marsha K Guess; Sarah N Partin; Steven Schrader; Brian Lowe; Julie LaCombe; Susan Reutman; Andrea Wang; Christine Toennis; Arnold Melman; Madgy Mikhail; Kathleen A Connell
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2011-08-11
Journal Detail:
Title:  The journal of sexual medicine     Volume:  8     ISSN:  1743-6109     ISO Abbreviation:  J Sex Med     Publication Date:  2011 Nov 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-10-28     Completed Date:  2012-02-28     Revised Date:  2014-09-08    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101230693     Medline TA:  J Sex Med     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  3144-53     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
© 2011 International Society for Sexual Medicine.
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MeSH Terms
Bicycling* / injuries
Cross-Sectional Studies
Equipment Design
Genitalia, Female / anatomy & histology,  innervation
Perineum / anatomy & histology,  innervation
Grant Support

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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