Discomfort in nether region

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junescraftybits
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Joined: 15 Jun 2024, 7:23pm

Discomfort in nether region

Post by junescraftybits »

Hi, this is quite a personal thing, but I’m sure I’m not the only female cyclist that deals with it. I’m 69, taken to cycling ah really enjoying. But, twice now after cycling I end up with discomfort in nether region and feels like I have a UTI. I’ve changed my saddle, got padded shorts since the first time, bit unfortunately has happened again. Any other female here know how I can deal with it please. I don’t want to give up cycling 😳.
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MrsHJ
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Location: Dartmouth, Devon.

Re: Discomfort in nether region

Post by MrsHJ »

Hmmm agree try different shorts- there was one brand that left me in agony. I use corinne Dennis but whatever works for you is great.

Saddles are worth exploring too. I use a rido 2 to deal with coccyx pain (agony actually after 3/4 hours ride). The coccyx damage was originally done whilst skiing (ok, I slipped outside a bar in a ski resort). This might not be the right one for you (it’s very hard in my backside if I haven’t been in it for a while but that’s worth it for the coccyx) but I’d definitely look for saddles with cutouts. Georgina Terry used to do some- I’m not sure about the current brands.

Finally consider the angle of the dangle. Traditionally saddles are leve/ flat. You may find that pushing the nose down a bit (look at the kind of cradle that the saddle bolts are set into and you’ll find you can push the nose or tail down and then retighten ) takes the pressure off your soft tissue and that helps. Good luck.
ElaineB
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Joined: 9 Apr 2011, 6:15pm

Re: Discomfort in nether region

Post by ElaineB »

Hi, I use a female chamois cream which really helps. Just smear some on those parts that feel sore when you ride, before you ride. I also found in the past that too much padding (in both shorts and saddle) increases discomfort as it causes movement that then causes friction, which = soreness.
I find less is more. Either padded shorts and less padded saddle or padded saddle and less padding in shorts.
It’s really a case of trial and error. As the previous lady said, keeping your saddle nose straight or slightly lower at the front may help.
You may also be leaning too far forward or even sitting too upright, or you may have your saddle too high. A bike fit at a decent bike shop should help you with your position, it may be something very simple and not too expensive to sort out. Good luck.
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531colin
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Re: Discomfort in nether region

Post by 531colin »

Being a bloke, I can't claim any particular knowledge, but this article is generally well received https://lovelybike.blogspot.com/2011/04 ... ddles.html
Below is a link to my DIY bike fit piece, which is intended to be simple.
L+1
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Re: Discomfort in nether region

Post by L+1 »

I see you’ve had a specific saddle recommendation from MrsMH, who is an experienced cycle tourer, so definitely knows what she’s talking about.
To me, it sounds like you’re somehow abrading the frontal area, to get those type of symptoms - so as others have pointed out- look at whether your saddle nose is pointing up - flat or slightly down might be better. Also, make sure your saddle isn’t too high, causing you to ‘swing side to side’ to reach the bottom of the pedal stroke. I’d also think about whether the saddle has a smooth (probably better for you) or rougher surface (which might cause friction), also that the saddle nose isn’t too wide.
Personally I prefer Ergon saddles - there are lots of models but their website is very informative regarding fit etc. My preference is for light saddle padding ( just softening the surface) and no padded underwear - but everyone is different.
Regarding trying different saddles, Edinburgh Bike Co-op run a little advertised but 100% reliable ‘try out’ scheme for saddles. You do have buy the first to try out but if it doesn’t suit, it can be returned and another selected. You would probably end up with a credit note I think, if you really couldn’t get one which you wanted to keep.
They currently stock Ergon, Brooks, Liv and Specialised and others. Previous conversations with their phone line help staff suggest they can order items outwith their normal stock, so that might open up even more saddles to try out? If you want to try out the saddle loan scheme, I would suggest phoning to talk it through. They are a small team, and you will likely be able to speak to the same staff member again, if required.
L+1
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Re: Discomfort in nether region

Post by L+1 »

Pinhead wrote: 17 Jun 2024, 7:44pm Moderator note - post removed.
No, the OP has described a rather specific type of pain/tissue damage that other female cyclists know about …. It’s abrasion in the frontal female perineum not just unfamiliarity with cycling or generalised bruising.
There aren’t many places in the forum where the best replies will definitely come from correspondents of the same sex as the OP - but this one ( and particularly this query) and specific queries in ‘Health and Fitness’ are best reserved for one sex or the other.
ymfb
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Location: Salisbury

Re: Discomfort in nether region

Post by ymfb »

Manon on GCNs YouTube channel has done a number of videos on ladies bits, might be worth watching.
Two wheels preferred.
Carlton green
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Re: Discomfort in nether region

Post by Carlton green »

L+1 wrote: 17 Jun 2024, 8:08pm There aren’t many places in the forum where the best replies will definitely come from correspondents of the same sex as the OP - but this one ( and particularly this query) and specific queries in ‘Health and Fitness’ are best reserved for one sex or the other.
Quite. Some of us blokes try to give helpful comments - we want our wives and daughters to be able to enjoy cycling - but really only other women can actually understand some female specific issues. What do blokes have to offer on women’s issues? Rarely anything of value besides what little our ladies might share with us - and even then it’s probably random knowledge offered in the wrong way.

It’s not the same but there’s a parallel. Some years back I hired a bike and went out for a day ride with a pal. After an hour or so it became clear that the saddle was ‘wrong’ for me, halfway through the day I was ‘distinctly uncomfortable’ and at the end of the day I’d been managing style of riding and pain for some time. I was a few days recovering and it was an educational experience.

On female specific issues greater moderation might help. Perhaps there is merit in formally identifying a small part of this forum (women’s cycling interests) as ‘nominally a place for female only posters’. Blokes could still post there but - unlike now - anything without clear merit would automatically be removed by a moderator. Ideally that would be managed by a female moderator (because a women is best placed to judge female issues).
Last edited by Carlton green on 18 Jun 2024, 11:06am, edited 1 time in total.
Don’t fret, it’s OK to: ride a simple old bike; ride slowly, walk, rest and admire the view; ride off-road; ride in your raincoat; ride by yourself; ride in the dark; and ride one hundred yards or one hundred miles. Your bike and your choices to suit you.
slowster
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Re: Discomfort in nether region

Post by slowster »

Some posts by male posters have been removed. One had already been warned before not to make general posts on the Women's Cycling Interests board in response to female posters seeking specific information relevant to women.
LollyKat
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Re: Discomfort in nether region

Post by LollyKat »

To the OP:

I’m a few years older than you and over the years I’ve tried many different saddles. IME a cut-out is essential as it allows ventilation and cooling as well as pressure relief. I’m currently very comfortable on an old Specialized BG one, lady-specific and with foam padding, and with a fairly shiny surface so that I can move around on it. It was quite cheap when I bought it ages ago and inevitably that particular model (unnamed!) is no longer available. In the past I’ve tried a RIDO R2 which solved the perineal problem but felt very hard under the bum bones - I was numb after a few days even though I am quite slightly built. Also the nose was so long that I had to be careful getting on and off as I sometimes caught my jersey pockets on it. Some of the ones with cut-outs I tried looked promising but had uncomfortably ‘sharp’ edges along the sides of the channel. Over the years I have spent a small fortune on saddles! The Edinburgh Co-op scheme looks interesting.

I don’t bother with padded undies or shorts for short distances, say up to 20 miles. For more than that I might use light padding but need to make sure that I’m not going to get too hot. I used to use creams during the ride but get on better without, or perhaps only apply at the end. Actually I think my long-distance days are probably over anyway for other reasons :(

HTH
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MrsHJ
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Re: Discomfort in nether region

Post by MrsHJ »

LollyKat wrote: 19 Jun 2024, 4:49pm To the OP:

I’m a few years older than you and over the years I’ve tried many different saddles. IME a cut-out is essential as it allows ventilation and cooling as well as pressure relief. I’m currently very comfortable on an old Specialized BG one, lady-specific and with foam padding, and with a fairly shiny surface so that I can move around on it. It was quite cheap when I bought it ages ago and inevitably that particular model (unnamed!) is no longer available. In the past I’ve tried a RIDO R2 which solved the perineal problem but felt very hard under the bum bones - I was numb after a few days even though I am quite slightly built. Also the nose was so long that I had to be careful getting on and off as I sometimes caught my jersey pockets on it. Some of the ones with cut-outs I tried looked promising but had uncomfortably ‘sharp’ edges along the sides of the channel. Over the years I have spent a small fortune on saddles! The Edinburgh Co-op scheme looks interesting.

I don’t bother with padded undies or shorts for short distances, say up to 20 miles. For more than that I might use light padding but need to make sure that I’m not going to get too hot. I used to use creams during the ride but get on better without, or perhaps only apply at the end. Actually I think my long-distance days are probably over anyway for other reasons :(

HTH
I hear you in the rido 2. I also dislike all those features of it. It’s really hard, the front is too long- totally agree. If I could find an alternative I’d be interested for sure. However until I find an alternative it’s the only saddle that I’ve been able to do a full day on without being close to tears due to coccyx pain so I’ll take it (for now!).
awavey
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Re: Discomfort in nether region

Post by awavey »

its a tricky topic because theres no single answer to solving it sadly, other than understanding well primarily it absolutely shouldnt be an area that causes discomfort, but youd be surprised how many do continue to ride with such discomfort and assume its normal.

primarily though the core reason is too much of your weight is resting forward on the soft tissue parts on to the saddle and not resting through the sit bones.

now that could be to do with saddle height, saddle tilt, saddle position, overall bike fit, size of the frame, handlebar height or just the saddle itself, after all most of them are just standardised for the average male rider, and are often then both too narrow, but also too long in the nose for women to ride comfortably on them.

kit choice I think is less of a problem normally for this, theres absolutely kit that uses specific pads sized and shaped for women thats way more comfortable than some of the generic almost unisex stuff you can get. But it can be very specific what works for you and what doesnt, as we are all different shapes, and it really does become a bit of a lottery till you find one that works.

certainly Id look to the setup of the bike first and check youre in the right position on the bike before trying fundamental things like different saddles.

I mean when I got my first road bike I could only cope for about an hour before the front pain made it unbearable, I went to a bike shop and they measured my sit bones, though I think they had me seated in too much of an aero position, which narrowed the sit bone width, but so they recommended a narrower saddle, which fwiw certainly improved things I could ride more than an hour, though it always felt like I wasnt quite seated properly on the saddle, one side always felt like it was falling off the side (which is a classic sign btw the saddle is too narrow)

But over the years I kind of refined my bike setup more and more, dropped the height of the saddle, made sure it wasnt tilted, and that made it more comfortable and I was fine for most rides only occasionaly would I get pain. Then disaster struck I came off my bike and broke the saddle, double disaster because they no longer made that saddle in that size anymore, and I was going to have to go through this whole process again to try and find a saddle that worked, but Id kept my original saddle, and with some trepidation fitted that, expecting I could probably cope short term whilst I found a new saddle.

Yet whether its the culmination of all the bike fit refinements Id made, slightly better core muscles so Im not falling forward all the time and using my arms for support, the old saddle that I couldnt ride more than 1 hour, is so much more comfortable now, and Ive ridden 6hrs on it without issue.

which just really was to show, its not always the saddle thats the problem.
Slowroad
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Re: Discomfort in nether region

Post by Slowroad »

It may be also worth considering asking your doctor for a prescription for topical hormone therapy for that area - lack of oestrogen can result in very fragile skin both outside and inside, and can increase infections and UTIs. I've had this sort of issue and the prescription helped, I just wish they would prescribe long-term. Have to wait for things to go wrong again...
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