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I put women cyclists vaginal pain into Google,http://www.active.com/cycling/Articles/Women-Only_Cycling-Issues-Explained.htm and this is what I got
Now I have to clear out my history box before I die of shame.
I can remember getting to mile 58 of my first 60 mile bike ride and REALLY wishing I'd worn the seriously padded knickers .
I found the less padding the better - i wear tri shorts all the time.
a gentleman's undercarriage differs very significantly from that of a woman so don't assume what works for them will work for you. they don't sit on mucous membranes and their nerve ending are on the end of a stalk well away from the seating area! I am not sure it is possible to toughen up mucous membranes but you will find that the non-mucous membranous skin does become more like that on the outside of your arm than the inside.
a good saddle is crucial and it may be that getting a good one will completely sort out your problem. i found one with a cut out part is essential then you don't have on sit on your clitoris. specialised dolce is cheap and worth a go. i haven't found the specialised jett (which comes in different widths) as good. my fav saddle is the sell italia gel flow. lots of people rate the fizik saddles but my vitesse (a woman's specific saddle) is unbearable!
a bit of grease is good. i just use cocoa butter. the assos cream gave me a rash (ouch!) - i kept using more and more of it to improve the situation until I realised!
position can definitely make a difference. also think about your lower back flexibility - you want to be able to bend so that you are still sat on the comfy part of your undercarriage. if you are inflexible you might be rotating your hips to reach the drops and resting on more sensitive parts. this is not as much fun as it sounds
using a turbo might help you work out what's most comfy as it seems to exaggerate discomfort - (assuming your fore-aft position is correct for your feet/knee/hip) if you find you're always pushing back it might be you need a wider nose on your saddle. some women have a box, others are more like a triangle the former tend to need a wider nose; the latter a narrower nose. if the nose is too narrow it'll be very uncomfortable. if it's a bit wide you'll tend to get rubbing.
go without tampons/towels if you can; otherwise tuck the string inside your vagina so it doesn't cause any rubbing.
you do get used to it honest - mainly through finding out how to get comfortable rather than by toughening up. You won't get callouses!
Thanks Mellifera for that.
I had/have horrendous problems with this issue (brilliant thread title btw!) but when MrGFB found out I was still wearing my knickers on the bike he nearly had a fit. I had horrible chafing and continuous doses of thrush....not nice. Commando is most definitely best!
I use an Adamo saddle which has the cut away and is open from the front. (Bella Comeford uses this one....you can get them in pink!!) I have had absolutely no peroneal pain since using it and no yeast infections. It's really sore on your "sitting" bones to start with (and after several hours on long rides). I'll have to try using shorts with less padding to see if that improves. i also use the assos cream.
(That wee string on the tampon can do you serious damage!....thanks for that tip Mell also)
poor old oxy
it's the use of anatomical terms isn't it?
are you the type to go to the docs and tell him you have problem 'down there'
Most of us will wait to make sure that whatever dropped off hasn't grown back before we admit defeat.
Mind you, the surgery filled with copies of bella and heat magazine, a million posters on breast cancer and well woman clinics, then I can't think whey we don't go more often. Only found out a couple of weeks ago that my doctors is now open on a friday night. Apparently the welcome leaflet new patients get says this but they never thought to write to existing patients. And they wondered why I wouldn't sign their petition against the proposed health centres open 7-7 with on-site practitioners.
I think sweepingly generalised more than sexist, but never mind.
I'm lucky, the girly saddle I got with my bike is great, never had any probs.
I changed to a seat with a hole and its so much better!
Really useful info here about creams and stuff, thanks.
I've never ridden a road bike so I can only guess at what a fantastic experience it must be, that so many people are prepared to put up with so much long-term pain to do it. Is it really that good?
mellifera wrote (see)
oh, and keep the hedge well trimmed - make sure the hairs aren't long enough to pull. shaving probably best avoid for the parts you sit on
Too bliddy right... I second that wholeheartedly.