During this month that we celebrate Mothers, we thought it appropriate to discuss an often ignored subject - Women's Cycling Issues. These are the issues that no one really likes to talk about, but also the issues that plague many. If you are a guy, we suggest you stop reading here. If you're a gal, we highly suggest reading on to learn how to prevent these common issues.
Saddles sores are a literal pain in the nether regions. Sores in the butt, groin and upper leg area range from annoying to incredibly painful. These sores can even at times force you to take a break from the bike. We'll get on to some treatment later, but the best thing for saddle sores is to prevent them altogether. We've all heard the saying - an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Saddle Sore Prevention
- Set up your bike correctly (a bike fit can help!). A high saddle makes you reach for the pedals, resulting in chafing. A low saddle doesn't allow your legs to support you, leading to more pressure on your groin area. In addition, the tilt of the saddle is important.
- Prevent chafing with a healthy lather of good chamois creme in your genital area and upper thigh.
- Wear padded cycling shorts with NO underwear.
- Practice god hygiene - directly place those stinky shorts in the wash after a ride and wash your crotch.
- Avoid sudden increases in weekly mileage. Up your mileage gradually.
- If you're following the above tips and still struggling with saddle sores, it may be time to check out a new bike saddle.
Saddle Sore Treatment
So despite your best intentions, you ended up with saddle sores. How do you treat them?
- Soak in a hot bath one to three times a day.
- Use antibiotic ointments to help with healing.
- Apply moleskin with an area cut out around the sore to help keep pressure off the sore itself.
Other Issues Down Under
Beyond saddle sores, some of the most common issues women experience down there are vaginitis (sometimes referred to as crotchitis), bacterial infections and yeast infections. These infections can be caused by warmth, moisture, poor hygiene, overzealous hygiene, chafing of the inner labia, oral medications (such as antibiotics) and allergies.
While crotchitis is distinct from saddle sores, the same preventative measures for saddle sores help prevent crotchitis. If you're struggling with crotchitis, make sure to wear loose clothing to keep the crotch dry and ventilated when off the bike. If you have crotchitis, a non-prescription cream may relieve the itching and help make a bike ride more comfortable. This can be particularly helpful if crotchitis occurs during a multi-day bike tour.
Bacterial and yeast infections, often indicated by foul-smelling discharge, is best treated by your physician. Seek help early on before little problems turn into big problems.
We've got all the gear you need to prevent issues and ride pain free. Shop our Women's Department today.
Information found on active.com