Low genital sensation in professional women cyclists has been linked to the height of the handlebars. Researchers led by Marsha K. Guess, evaluated bicycle setup in terms of the link between the seat and the handlebars. They measured saddle pressures and sensation in the genital region to see if placing handlebars in different positions affects pressure and sensation in the genital region. Results showed that placing the handlebar lower than the seat was tied with increased pressure on the genital region and decreased sensation, reducing the ability to detect vibration.
Modifying the bicycle set up so as to reduce the chronic pressure exerted by the saddle can help prevent genital nerve damage leading to sexual dysfunction. “There are a myriad of factors affecting women’s sexual function. If women can minimise pressure application to the genital tissues merely by repositioning their handlebars higher, to increase sitting upright, then they are one step closer to maintaining their very important sexual health,” explained Irwin Goldstein.