A few weeks ago, I made the mistake of complaining about the muscle pain I was experiencing from riding my bicycle for multiple days in a row (without having ridden in years). It went like this…
Tori: “UGH, MY VAGINA HURTS”
Dad: “No it doesn’t”
Tori: “YES IT DOES. STUPID BIKE.”
Dad: “No, it really doesn’t. If it did, something would be seriously wrong with your seat”
Tori: *realizing what vagina actually means* “…Oh. What is it then?”
Yes, my dad is hilarious. In this case, he was also correct. The area near the genitals that I was mistakenly calling my vagina is actually called the perineum. This is the region of soft tissue that extends from the coccyx to the pubic arch and forms a diamond with the edges of the groin. This area does not take pressure well, and is particularly susceptible to bruising and irritation while biking.
Discomfort can be avoided by making sure that your bike seat is appropriately adjusted, making sure that it is high enough that your knee doesn’t straighten all the way at the bottom of each stroke. Keep your hips centered (as opposed to rocking) during your ride, and try to stand up every so often to relieve the pressure. For hard-core bikers, there are specialized bike seats with cushions or without noses, but as one who lives in North Philadelphia 3/4 of the year, that’s not an investment I’m prepared to make. (If any of you do, let me know if it feels as awesome as it sounds)
If you’re already experiencing perineum pain, it is possible to gently massage the area to ease the pain.
So ladies, there’s your crash course on the perineum. Bonus fun fact- though it’s not your vagina, it is an erogenous zone (particularly for men).