American researchers estimate that women who engage in high-intensity cycling have a better sex life. However, this practice also unfortunately promotes infections.
Scientists in UC San Francisco (in the United States) have formally addressed the fairer sex: take up cycling for a better sex life! The researchers, whose study featured in a press release on the 13th March 2018, firstly examined athletes from a variety of countries (the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, the United States, etc.), particularly women of around 40 years of age who were members of cycling clubs. Swimmers were also included in the study as a control group.
Next, the cyclists were divided into two groups -low-intensity cyclists and high-intensity cyclists. They all completed two questionnaires, and 3,118 women in total were included in the study (1,053 non cyclists, 1,656 not very active cyclists and 409 very active cyclists).
Equally, the researchers tried to find out more about the type of bicycle used (mountain bikes, road bikes, hybrid bikes, etc.), the type of saddle (long, padded or wide) and its angle, the use of padded shorts, the time spent standing on the bike, or the type of area frequented (countryside, town). The participants’ body mass index (BMI), age, ethnic origin, whether they were smokers, the presence of diabetes or high blood pressure were also considered as part of the study.
“We found that lifetime miles ridden was associated with better sexual function, as measured by a common, validated questionnaire,” explained Thomas W. Gaither, the first author of the study.
On the flip side, the study also highlights the fact that high-intensity cycling can make women more prone to infections, notably urinary tract infections. The researchers also highlighted potential risks of genital numbness and saddle sores.