Urinary problems

John100
Posts: 94
Joined: 9 Mar 2017, 10:51pm

Urinary problems

Postby John100 » 19 Jan 2018, 4:24pm

Any ladies had problems with urine infections, urethral syndrome, persistence frequency of having to pass urine which they have directly related to cycling and has it been severe enough to stop you cycling for any length of time? Any ready solutions found e.g. proper bike set up, new saddle etc. I am interested for a female relative who had severe problems stopping her from cycling. Thanks.

Flinders
Posts: 2999
Joined: 10 Mar 2009, 6:47pm

Re: Urinary problems

Postby Flinders » 19 Jan 2018, 11:32pm

I haven't has the specific problems you mention from cycling, but just a thought- does she wear cycling shorts, i.e. proper ones, worn with no underwear and with antibacterial chamois (unless she's allergic to that)? If not, maybe that would help.

I like to wash those bits with just plain water after a ride - and dry carefully - no soap or anything like that. Anything chemical can affect the PH balance which can lead to infections. And the shorts go straight in the wash, of course. And I only use gentle washing powders, and no fabric conditioners.
The other thing that can help against infections there is making sure you are hydrated. Some people don't drink enough water when cycling, it's easy not to drink enough.

I have heard that there is a chamois cream (a cream to stop friction in that area) designed specifically with a PH to suit women. I will see if I can find the reference- or does anyone know of it?

Saddles, well, you have to try them until you find one, it's very individual. Some ladies find a saddle with a cut out helps. And there are all sorts of saddles, including one that is just like a set of fins. I would have thought that a bad saddle and or saddle setting might cause sore skin, but I'm not sure I can see how it would cause urinary tract infections.

John100
Posts: 94
Joined: 9 Mar 2017, 10:51pm

Re: Urinary problems

Postby John100 » 20 Jan 2018, 8:08pm

Thanks Flinders. Thought this would be a fairly common problem. The antibacterial cream might be worth a go. I have a feeling the seat may be a factor. She has done everything else you say. The interesting thing is that it came on relatively suddenly when nothing had changed in her cycling and although she stopped cycling it was quite a time before it settled down completely ie many months. Before all this she had done 3 coast to coasts on a tourer or road bike and Lancs cycleway on the back of a tandem without any major troubles apart from having to go more often when out on the bike. She is very wary about getting back on the bike.

Flinders
Posts: 2999
Joined: 10 Mar 2009, 6:47pm

Re: Urinary problems

Postby Flinders » 22 Jan 2018, 5:00pm

The cream I'm thinking of is chamois cream, that's really to stop sores and rubbing but I thought a women's specific one might be a good idea, as we need different things to men at times.
The chamois pads on cycling shorts are often antibacterial, that might help, or could be the cause if she is allergic to it.

It's tricky if she can't locate anything that changed in terms of health or clothing or soaps or whatever when it began. I can only say I have had the problem, (though not from cycling, more when hiking) most women do at some point in their lives. I found that drinking plenty of water was important for getting rid of it when it started up. When I thought about it, I realised that it generally started at times when I hadn't been taking enough fluids, and when taking a lot of exercise (losing fluids through sweat generally). I tend to be more careful to keep fluids up when cycling, which may explain why cycling didn't trigger it for me.

It began when I had my 'bits' out rather young, and I had it on and off for years, though never badly. Since changing my HRT a few years ago I have hardly had it at all. I suspect that there may be some hormonal changes that make one more vulnerable to it. It also used to be worse if I was stressed and/or run down generally, but that's difficult to separate from fluid intake- when unwell, I tend to drink less than I should. I have heard that antibiotics can set it off too.
If even before it began she had to go more when cycling, that does suggest the saddle might be a factor. I find my newish selle italia diva gel saddle is working better for me than a previous softer one. It's harder and thinner, so I don't sink into it, so it isn't as sweaty and keeps my bits cooler. Both had centre holes, which suit me but not everyone.

I posted this on another thread:
There are the manta saddles I mentioned. I can't use one because my saddle is already as low as it will go, and they have to be set lower than a standard one, but they may suit some riders.
http://mantasaddle.co.uk/
May be worth a look for you.

(Some people find cranberry juice helps....)

eileithyia
Posts: 7703
Joined: 31 Jan 2007, 6:46pm
Location: Horwich Which is Lancs :-)

Re: Urinary problems

Postby eileithyia » 24 Jan 2018, 9:09am

It is interesting that this came on suddenly despite using the same set up etc., so I do wonder if the bike is the problem or something else...

Has something else changed, ie childbirth which may have slightly displaced how the tissues of the perineal area are arranged. A new relationship (cystitis and the accompanying progression to UTI wasn't called the honeymoon disease for no reason)?
Rundown and stressed?
I had some major stress a few years ago (divorce, house sale fell through, having to find somewhere else to live as the temp accommodation was ending).... I ended up with a rip roaring UTI, Nephritis and subsequent thrush following on the antibiotics.....? A couple of years later I had a second dose (new realtionship :wink: ). Once it all settled down I have had no further issues (touchwood).
Could be hormonal changes etc.

I would agree with other suggestions, shorts, female specific ointments, neutral pH wash, wash shorts after every ride and don't sit around in shorts for longer than necessary.... ie if parking and riding change into shorts once parked (yes can be a bit of a pain changing in back of car) and likewise change back out of them once ride is completed for journey home... get changed fairly quickly once back home.

Check setup and shorts... just another thought; if having position issues, ie sliding forwards or backwards on the saddle it might be that the pad is moving backwards and forwards. It is generally believed that G-strings are not healthy.. as it easier for the string to move forward and backwards between the tissues transferring bacteria from back to front which can then track into the urethra. I am not suggesting your friend is wearing a g-string on the bike... but using it to demonstrate my reasoning.
I stand and rejoice everytime I see a woman ride by on a wheel the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood. HG Wells

John100
Posts: 94
Joined: 9 Mar 2017, 10:51pm

Re: Urinary problems

Postby John100 » 25 Jan 2018, 2:12pm

Thanks. No changes in relationships I don't think. Stress could be part of it I guess. Has had a few children but was riding fine until there seemed to be a relatively sudden change, which took months to settle despite not riding. It may be that cycling is nothing to do with it and it is just one of those things, but it was bad enough and seemingly connected for her to be very reluctant to cycle again. She did quite a bit of swimming last year and that gave some frequency - I think that was just the chemicals.

Vorpal
Moderator
Posts: 16299
Joined: 19 Jan 2009, 3:34pm
Location: Not there ;)

Re: Urinary problems

Postby Vorpal » 25 Jan 2018, 3:31pm

I have had urinary problems from time to time in the past. Some years ago ~19, I rather suddenly had regular and persistant urinary tract infections. I initially associated this with cycling because I began a new daily bike commute, 11 miles each way (I had had a longer commute, which I did occasionally by bike) and didn't have good shower facilities. There was a women's shower, but it had been used for storage, so I got the company to sort out the women's shower & started showering when I rode in. A medical specialist also recommended me to drink cranberry juice every morning, which I did for a number of years. The incidence of urinary tract infections gradually decreased. A few years later, I had some other issues that caused me to stop taking hormonal birth control, and I haven't had a urinary tract infection since I stopped taking hormonal birth control. I never discussed the urinary tract infections with the OB/GYN that I saw for the other issues, but I have always connected the disappearance of my urinary tract infections with stopping hormonal birth control.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

John100
Posts: 94
Joined: 9 Mar 2017, 10:51pm

Re: Urinary problems

Postby John100 » 27 Jan 2018, 7:05pm

Thanks Vorpal. Don't think the hormones have been a massive factor here. Part of me thinks she has been unlucky and it isn't to do with the cycling. Anyway she has started running which she was very good at when younger - hopefully she will "promote" to cycling!

eileithyia
Posts: 7703
Joined: 31 Jan 2007, 6:46pm
Location: Horwich Which is Lancs :-)

Re: Urinary problems

Postby eileithyia » 29 Jan 2018, 8:36am

Just out of interest, what sort of age group is the lady in.... it's easy to say hormones might not be the problem... but they could be....
I stand and rejoice everytime I see a woman ride by on a wheel the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood. HG Wells

Bill Reynolds
Posts: 201
Joined: 17 Mar 2007, 1:45am
Location: North Worcestershire

Re: Urinary problems

Postby Bill Reynolds » 29 Jan 2018, 11:15am

Hello John100, if your friend is sitting on the usual bone hard saddle with a 'nose' for ....extra discomfort... may I suggest a saddle that does not have a nose and also has a gap in the seating so her bits don't get pressure? Try a Hobson saddle as I found them great! The only problem remaining is the will to do something or carry on suffering a gods awful normal saddle....

Flinders
Posts: 2999
Joined: 10 Mar 2009, 6:47pm

Re: Urinary problems

Postby Flinders » 31 Jan 2018, 10:50pm

Bill Reynolds wrote:Hello John100, if your friend is sitting on the usual bone hard saddle with a 'nose' for ....extra discomfort... may I suggest a saddle that does not have a nose and also has a gap in the seating so her bits don't get pressure? Try a Hobson saddle as I found them great! The only problem remaining is the will to do something or carry on suffering a gods awful normal saddle....


Always worth a try!
One thing I would say about saddles is that a soft saddle tends to even out the pressure. That's not a good thing- you want the pressure on the 'sitbones'. A soft saddle spreads the pressure out over the softer bits. I have found a harder saddle (mine had a cut-out just as the softer one did) is cooler and keeps such pressure as there is on the bones, not the - other bits. But a hard saddle does have to fit or you're back to 'pressure-in-the-wrong-place' again.

I have wondered about noseless saddles, but I do use the nose against the inner thigh for balance at times when freewheeling with weight off the saddle (which I do to take pressure off 'everything' and get a bit cooler!).

John100
Posts: 94
Joined: 9 Mar 2017, 10:51pm

Re: Urinary problems

Postby John100 » 1 Feb 2018, 2:45pm

Thanks for your replies. I will have a look at the saddle angle so to speak. I think I need a new saddle come that! She is early 60s. Otherwise fit.

Vorpal
Moderator
Posts: 16299
Joined: 19 Jan 2009, 3:34pm
Location: Not there ;)

Re: Urinary problems

Postby Vorpal » 1 Feb 2018, 6:59pm

Early 60s, she could still be undergoing postmenopausal changes.

Has she discussed this with a GP or specialist?

Also, there could be multiple factors involved. Does she wear padded shorts? If so, she may want to try cycling without them, especially if they are old. New ones are anti-bacterial, but that gives some people trouble, as well.

The other things is, as we age, the soft tissue becomes less flexible, and often drier. That means that a bike set-up that was once ok, or even marginal, may no longer work. I have experienced this, and although I am younger, it is far more fiddly for me to get comfortable on the bike than it once was. While I don't believe it has given me issues like your friend has, we all react to these things differently.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

eileithyia
Posts: 7703
Joined: 31 Jan 2007, 6:46pm
Location: Horwich Which is Lancs :-)

Re: Urinary problems

Postby eileithyia » 1 Feb 2018, 7:22pm

Agree with Vorpal.... and exactly why I asked in response to your comment re hormones not being the problem..... hormones are always a problem :lol: .... and cause all sorts of issues that we do not appreciate..... hope your friend gets sorted.
I stand and rejoice everytime I see a woman ride by on a wheel the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood. HG Wells

Vorpal
Moderator
Posts: 16299
Joined: 19 Jan 2009, 3:34pm
Location: Not there ;)

Re: Urinary problems

Postby Vorpal » 2 Feb 2018, 8:12am

eileithyia wrote:hormones are always a problem :lol: .... .


That's about right. :lol: :lol:
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom