08 July, 2011
Urethral Strictures & Biking
The bicycle seat is the essence of many problems for both men and women. The nose of the saddle can lead to discomfort, according to bicycle expert Jim Langley. Urethral stricture is not on the list of problems from cycling, but can arise from straddle injuries such as you might encounter on a bike. If you have problems passing urine or have suffered trauma to the pelvis, see a doctor for a diagnosis and treatment.
Urethral stricture is more common in men than women, according to the University of California Medical Center. A blockage that forms inside the urinary tract is a stricture. Once a stricture is present, it obstructs the flow of urine. Strictures may be partial or complete. The cause of the conditions is not bike riding or even the seat style. An accident or injury while cycling can lead to stricture formation, however. For example, falling onto the crossbar of the bike. The injury produces scar tissue that blocks the passageway.
The primary indicator of urethral stricture is poor urine flow. You may have pain when you try to go to the bathroom and occasionally pass blood. The inability to empty the bladder will increase your number of trips to the bathroom. Even though the urge to urinate goes up, the yield will decrease. You may begin to develop chronic infections because you retain more urine. Bicycling is likely to become more uncomfortable when you have a narrowing of the urinary tract.
Bike seats are not the direct cause of urinary stricture, but they can cause other problems such as erectile dysfunction. Men and women who develop a stricture may find a classic bike seat difficult to endure. Finding the right saddle is as essential as wearing appropriate shoes. Ergonomic seat designs may be the key to avoiding complications from cycling. Seats made of foam or gel can reduce pressure on the genitals. A visit to the bike shop can introduce you to some of the less traditional, but more comfortable, seats available.
Falling on a bike frame causes trauma. Even if you think you are okay, you may notice symptoms developing later. See a doctor to eliminate complications such as urethral stricture. Other sources of this condition include recurrent infections, medical procedures such as insertion of a catheter and cancer. Do not ride the bike if it causes you discomfort. Instead, change the seat style until you find one that works for you. Bike manufacturers make different seats for men and women. Men should not try to use a seat designed for women.
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