Scientists at Yale University found that female cyclists, whose handlebars were lower than their seat of their bike, may experience less pleasure during sex.
They learned that a low handlebar position puts extra pressure on nerves and blood vessels, or neuropathies, in the genital area.
The study reported that modifying a bicycle’s set-up by raising its handlebars ‘helps alleviate neuropathies’ in females.
The findings were based on analysis of 48 women who each rode at least ten miles per week, four weeks per month.
Researchers had each participant mount their own bike on a stationary machine.
They were asked to speak out if they experienced ‘soreness, tingling and other sensations’.
A researcher using a pressure map then measured sensation in the woman’s pelvic floor.
Genital sensation was ‘measured in microns using biosthesiometry measures of vibratory thresholds’.
“Handlebars positioned lower than the saddle correlated with increased perineum saddle pressures and decreased anterior vaginal and left labial genital sensation,” a major newspaper quoted the study.
The research follows a 2006 study from the same university, which acknowledged an association between cycling and decreased genital sensation, but did not assign a reason for it.
While the effects of bike-riding for long periods of time have widely been linked to male erectile dysfunction, effects on a woman’s sexual health are often overlooked.
The study is published in the Journal Of Sexual Medicine.