Erectile Dysfunction & Blood In the Urine !!
IT IS SO IMPORTANT YOU HAVE THE RIGHT SADDLE
There are some really serious and gender specific conditions that can arise from an ill suited saddle or poor position.
For the Boys
Its a compression of the dorsal penile nerve can produce a sensation of penile numbness. This should alleviate immediately when you shift position, stand out of the saddle or finish your ride. If it lingers, it should be taken extremely seriously as it can be symptomatic of the development of erectile dysfunction. Which when recorded in a study in the Journal of Sports Medicine reported 19% of riders with numbness and poor fitting saddles had symptoms of erectile discomfort.
High levels of pressure can also damage the urethra and lead to infections of the urethra. This can be characterised by burning,stinging when going to the toilet after a ride or, in severe cases, blood in the urine.
This is all really serious stuff and needs to be acted on immediately and medical advice sought. Saddles with central cut-outs can help to alleviate both of these conditions.
For the Girls
Its really serious- with urethral compression, damage and infection. All characterised by pain when urinating and blood in the urine. This is a growing issue for female riders.
Obviously us girls are very different physiologically to the boys, with wider hips and a profoundly different pelvic anatomy though, the saddle demands of female riders are very different to men. However girls can ride on boys saddles and vice- versa, just you need to be comfortable.
Cut out saddles are not always the answer. Many cut-out designs are marketed as female specific but in reality are just modified male designs - So choose wisely. Trauma and inflammation of the labial tissues is a fairly common issue in female riders. Many cut-out saddle designs will alleviate pressure on the inner labia but then transfer it to the outer labia instead. Hence you need to work out if your an -"innie or outie"
Inflammation and swelling can become serious, making the area more prone to further damage and, due to adopting unusual positions on the saddle to try to alleviate the discomfort, can lead to secondary injuries to the back or knees. Scar tissue can form and cause an issue which then possibly will never go away.