On Women, Bicycles, Sex & Fertility
Here's a topic that you won't hear a lot of reproductive specialists talk about – but maybe they should! A new study in The Journal of Sexual Medicine advises that women bicyclists can lessen their chances for potential sexual dysfunction by changing up a couple of things on their bikes.
Women cyclists can experience genital nerve damage if the bicycle seat is higher than the handlebars. This type of nerve damage reduces a woman's ability to detect vibrations, which can then lead to impaired sexual function.
An important point:Sexual dysfunction in and of itself does not equal infertili ty! But as many of my patients unfortunately know already, trying to get pregnant when there's a fertility problem in the way can be less than pleasurable. So I advise couples to take reasonable steps (and seek related counseling, if necessary) so that enjoyable physical intimacy remains a part of their experience. Granted, the women studied are competitive cyclists, and most of my Houston Fertility Center patients are not in that category. Bicycling is one of the activities that has been recommended as healthy for women who are trying to conceive, but again, in moderation, since over-activity and extreme weight loss can work against your body's ability to get pregnant. And if you want to maintain a healthy sexual relationship with your partner through what can be a daunting process, you might also need to adjust your bike seat and handlebars.