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Old 08-06-09, 01:30 PM   #1
bikingjerome
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Nubmness of the Perineum, what is it exaclty???

Hi All,

I know that the topic of cycling causing ED has been argued endlessly and from what I have read it seems like proper saddle fitting should eliminte all risks.

But most medical articles also say that one should be alarmed if any numbness or tingling sensation in the perineum is experienced which if unattended can caues the undesired effects to the reproductive system.

Now this might sound like a stupid quesiton, but what exactly is numbness or a tingling sensation in the perineum?. I mean I have been sore as well in the crotch area when cycling hard after I had a break, but I don't think I could tell if I was numb in that area. Is nubmness or tingling equal to pain in the crotch ? Is it harmful if I am sore for a few days?

Sorry I am just confused and any comment is greatly appreciated.

Cheers,
Jerry
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Old 08-06-09, 06:30 PM   #2
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Hi All,

I know that the topic of cycling causing ED has been argued endlessly and from what I have read it seems like proper saddle fitting should eliminte all risks.

But most medical articles also say that one should be alarmed if any numbness or tingling sensation in the perineum is experienced which if unattended can caues the undesired effects to the reproductive system.

Now this might sound like a stupid quesiton, but what exactly is numbness or a tingling sensation in the perineum?. I mean I have been sore as well in the crotch area when cycling hard after I had a break, but I don't think I could tell if I was numb in that area. Is nubmness or tingling equal to pain in the crotch ? Is it harmful if I am sore for a few days?

Sorry I am just confused and any comment is greatly appreciated.

Cheers,
Jerry
Am not an expert on this, but I always thought they were talking about pressure on the perineum causing numbness in the penis.
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Old 08-06-09, 06:58 PM   #3
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Compression of the nerve down yonder. Try a different angle on the saddle. And possibly the reach as well.
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Old 08-06-09, 07:27 PM   #4
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I purchased a wider seat (155mm) and it reduced the load on my perineum fixing my issue.
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Old 08-06-09, 08:43 PM   #5
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Commonly referred to as the taint...

The first entry on a google search for perineum is a medical dictionary, which describes it pretty well.
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Old 08-06-09, 08:44 PM   #6
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numbness is not pain
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Old 08-06-09, 08:51 PM   #7
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Not an absolute, but most numbness in the 'taint' is blood-flow related, rather than nerve-pressure. A nerve 'pressured' will react much faster (almost immediately), whereas the blood-flow issue builds up slowly.

It's a pretty unique situation for nerves to gradually change activity; they're mostly on/off. The perineal numbness most cyclists experience (those that do) is like the numbness of your hand, for example, 'going to sleep'. That's a blood-flow thing, too.
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Old 08-06-09, 09:36 PM   #8
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We have gloves with gel strategically placed to help this issue with the hands. Maybe someone will design and market shorts along the same line.
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Old 08-07-09, 05:00 AM   #9
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I get that numbness quiet often after riding for a few miles. I usually stand up on the pedals and stretch a bit and everything is fine, til I sit down for a lil bit more. How concerned should I be? Im currently trying to scrounge up some money for an extra seat post and new comfy/long riding seat. Currently, I have no ED.......although sometimes my wife wishes I did.
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Old 08-07-09, 05:14 AM   #10
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There are two separate issues here. Blood flow is easily rectified by standing a bit--- and I don't view it as serious at all. A pinched nerve causes numbness that persists well after the ride is over. I have a pinched nerve in my shoulder causing numbness in my index finger. I could pound a nail through my finger---- and this has lasted weeks.

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Not an absolute, but most numbness in the 'taint' is blood-flow related, rather than nerve-pressure. A nerve 'pressured' will react much faster (almost immediately), whereas the blood-flow issue builds up slowly.

It's a pretty unique situation for nerves to gradually change activity; they're mostly on/off. The perineal numbness most cyclists experience (those that do) is like the numbness of your hand, for example, 'going to sleep'. That's a blood-flow thing, too.
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Old 08-07-09, 09:56 AM   #11
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Just got back into biking this summer for a decade long absence. My old, stock saddle, even with a huge gel pack, didn't cut it (I think the gel bunched up in my crotch and my sit bones were riding on the saddle itself). Got a Avenir Comfy. MUCH better.

BUT, not ideal. While the saddle has a cut out from the crotch area, that only REALLY works when I am bolt upright, a position that doesn't happen all that much. I experimented with the seat fore/aft angle, and have concluded the issue is the rather fat (and well padded) front "tongue" of the saddle (not sure of the right term). When peddling hard (or if the front is angled down a bit) I kinda of slid forward and my family jewels rests mostly on that front protuberance. I got used to sliding back on the seat frequently. And yes, occasionally I seem to get a bit numb in the crotch (blood flow).

Not sure how to approach this issue. Don't want to start burning through lots of different saddles, am thinking about extensions to my flat bars so I CAN ride more upright at times...
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Old 08-07-09, 10:51 AM   #12
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what is it ? WHAT IS IT ?

it is a sign you are not pedaling hard enough, that's what. end of story.
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Old 08-07-09, 12:15 PM   #13
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Thank you everyone for your input. I guess my question was a bit misleading. I guess I understand what it is, but I don't know how this numbness feels. The perineum is such a small hidden area. It's not like an arm or leg or finger where numbness is easily noticable. It's not really a part of the body that is used actively .

My question is how do I test for this nubmness? I cetainly don't feel any tingling. Do I have to poke it to see if I feel anything? To me it's like saying my armpit is numb which is another hidden body part.

Again I know that is sounding stupid to some, but I honestly have no concept of how a numb perineum supposed to feel like.

Any further comments are greatly appreciated.

Cheers,
Jerry
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Old 08-07-09, 12:19 PM   #14
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what is it ? WHAT IS IT ?

it is a sign you are not pedaling hard enough, that's what. end of story.
Interesting point, could you please elaborate?
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Old 08-07-09, 02:27 PM   #15
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We have gloves with gel strategically placed to help this issue with the hands. Maybe someone will design and market shorts along the same line.
We already have saddles with cutouts.
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Old 08-08-09, 07:23 AM   #16
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My question is how do I test for this nubmness? I cetainly don't feel any tingling. Do I have to poke it to see if I feel anything? To me it's like saying my armpit is numb which is another hidden body part.

Again I know that is sounding stupid to some, but I honestly have no concept of how a numb perineum supposed to feel like.

Any further comments are greatly appreciated.

Cheers,
Jerry
There's no specific "test" that I know of... for me, it's the whole area (especially genitals) that is numb. Like I said, not frequently... but it can happen. One caveat is that I do have very occasional circulation issues, not too frequent or severe enough to seek a medical solution.
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Old 08-08-09, 07:34 AM   #17
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If you are putting that kind of pressure on your 'taint, you are not straddling the saddle correctly due to saddle position and/or overall bike fit and unbalanced weight displacement. Cut-outs and such are treating symptoms, not the root cause.
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Old 08-08-09, 05:47 PM   #18
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(or if the front is angled down a bit) I kinda of slid forward and my family jewels rests mostly on that front protuberance.
Try tilting the nose UP a bit, that tends to make you naturally slide to the back. Counterintuitive, but works for some people.
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Again I know that is sounding stupid to some, but I honestly have no concept of how a numb perineum supposed to feel like.
As I said earlier, the numbness isn't in the perineum, at least, not for me. Pressure on the perineum causes numbness in the penis.
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Interesting point, could you please elaborate?
I think what he meant was, if you ride harder, more of your weight is on the legs/feet, this means less on the saddle/perineum, and... well, less pressure, less (no) problem.

I know the only time I get a problem is when I am pretty tired, and riding like a sack of spuds slumped on the saddle.
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Old 08-08-09, 08:15 PM   #19
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What does it feel like? Doesn't feel like anything. Numbness is the absence of sensation.

As clarified by coldfeet, cyclists (guys) are not talking about perineal numbness but, rather with that problem in the, uh, male part. The scientific/medical term is Numb Johnson Syndrome.

Get up out of the saddle regularly.
Look into recumbents.
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Old 08-08-09, 10:21 PM   #20
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why pay for an expensive city-folk bicycle saddle with a fancy city-boy taint cut out?

do what i do and just cut out the taint!
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Old 08-09-09, 06:30 AM   #21
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numbness is not pain
That doesn't make it a sign of anything good, either.
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Old 08-09-09, 07:38 AM   #22
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Mr. Winky takes a cat-nap. The sensation is akin to what you might (not) feel when your hand or leg falls asleep.
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Old 08-09-09, 08:26 AM   #23
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A friend of mine had this and went to a sports doctor. Doctor said to use a saddle that's not as soft. Problem solve for him, though everyone is different.
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Old 08-09-09, 08:33 AM   #24
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I don't think it's so much a numb perinium that's a problem. It's when pressure on the perinium area causes your penis to go numb on you, for whichever reason, and that's not good. I usually reach down and grab my goodies every now and then on longer rides just to make sure there's no numbness. If there is some numbness, or even just a hint of loss of feeling, I stand, or shift to one side of the saddle a little, or adjust my shorts.
I've noticed that I can't tell I'm going numb unless I touch it. There were a couple times I rode quite a while, then adjust my shorts and noticed that I just about lost all feeling down there, and that was just a bit scary. That's why I do the regular "grab it" check when I'm riding.
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