The practice of high intensity cycling would be beneficial to the sexual function of women.

Women cyclists are more likely to have urinary tract infections, stool irritations, but also better sexual function, according to a study published in the medical journal Journal of Sexual Medicine.

Researchers at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) in the United States conducted a study with 3118 sportswomen under 40 in five countries including the United States, Australia and New Zealand. Of these, 34% were non-cyclists, 53% were low intensity cyclists and 13% were high intensity cyclists. In addition to the index of female sexual function, participants also completed the questionnaire of the American Urological Symptom Index.

Cyclists were asked about many factors: the type of bike used (mountain, road, hybrid, recumbent);the saddle type (large, unpadded); the frequency of wearing padded shorts; standing while riding a bicycle the saddle angle; the height of the handlebars and the type of driving surface (urban, rural, off-road).
The researchers adjusted their results with a number of risk factors, such as age, body mass index, hypertension, diabetes, and smoking.

The researchers confirmed a link between intensive cycling and certain gynecological disorders such as irritations due to the friction of the saddle. But, they also observed some improvement in sexual function for high intensity cyclists and a lower probability of reporting sexual dysfunction than among non-cyclists.

“We found that the kilometers traveled for life were associated with a better sexual function, measured by a common questionnaire and validated,” said the first author Thomas W. Gaither, a medical student at UCSF.

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