“My bike is my best friend, but my bike seat can be a thorn in my side, specifically, a pain in my Sporty V. I ride road bikes for fun now, after years of competitive racing. When I first started racing I was warned: It’s a dangerous sport. It’s not a matter of if you crash; it’s a matter of when. But no one prepared me for the other, hidden dangers of cycling. [Cue ominous music.] The dreaded Sporty V. Seriously, there’s nothing worse. Most weekends you would find me racing, which meant 15-20 hours of weekly training, with an average ride of 2.5 hours—some weekend rides went 4 or 5 hours. That’s a lot of time perched on a hard carbon-fiber saddle the width of a small postcard. The last half hour of a long ride was mostly spent wriggling around from side to side, sliding from front to back and lifting up and down in an attempt to find a comfortable position—anything to relieve the pressure on Sporty V. Even a specially designed cutout seat—one favored by most male and female riders—didn’t always help me with the V blues.”

—Louise Keoghan TV Producer & Director

 

It’s a subject that gets little attention, but affects countless women: Many women face problems related to cycling, spinning, and horseback riding that can be traumatizing to the vagina. Up until recent times women were often discouraged from participating in these particular activities because of vaginal maladies that seemed unavoidable. Of course we know now that there are ways to avoid trauma to the vagina, but some women, unlike Bren, are either too embarrassed to ask the right questions or they imagine that they must simply grin and bear the pain.

It’s estimated that nineteen million women regularly participate in cycling or spinning as their primary source of physical exercise. That’s a whole lot of potential vaginal trauma. For triathlon competitors, the longest distance is also covered by bicycle. There’s V-trauma on top of the potential muscle pain and cramps of the swimming and running segments.


Chapter Photos

Chapped labia majora and hood of the clitoris from cycling
Chapped labia majora and hood of the clitoris from cycling
Chapped labia majora and hood of the clitoris from cycling
Chapped labia majora and hood of the clitoris from cycling
Cycling tears at the base of the vagina
Cycling tears at the base of the vagina
Cycling tears at the base of the vagina
Cycling tears at the base of the vagina