|A Urinary Tract Infection and Bike Riding
By Marc Chase, LIVESTRONG.COM
“Bicycle riding combines two key triggers of female urinary tract infections — friction and bacteria. If you’re a woman and an avid cyclist, understanding the mechanics of infection and taking the right precautions can minimize the chance you’ll contract a UTI during during this physical activity. If you’re a male cyclist, little if any evidence shows a direct link between bike riding and infections, but the mechanics of cycling can aggravate another condition with symptoms mimicking bladder infections.”
Mechanics of Infection
The area of a woman’s body closest to the bicycle seat typically contains a multitude of bacteria. If you’re a female cyclist, regular bike riding or health-club indoor-biking classes cause repeated friction in that region of your body. According to Maine-based Women to Women Health Care Center, such repeated movement potentially pushes bacteria into the urethra — the tube that carries urine from your body. Once inside, the bacteria travel up the urinary tract, sometimes causing infection that reaches as far as the kidneys. Women remain at greater risk for such infections than men, according to Mayo Clinic.
|When to Seek Treatment
Common signs you’re suffering a urinary tract infection requiring medical treatment include blood in urine, cloudy urine, strong urges to frequently urinate, pelvic pain in women and rectal pain in men, according to Mayo Clinic. Urinary tract infections sometimes cause fevers, back or abdominal pain and pelvic pressure,
Concerning Male Riders
Though not often associated with bladder infections in men, long and frequent bike rides sometimes aggravate another condition in some men, according to Dr. Paul K. Nolan, M.D., writing for BikeRoute.com. The shape, friction and bounce of a bike seat sometimes aggravates the male prostate gland, located near the bladder. If you’re a male rider already suffering from an enlarged prostate, frequent cycling often worsens the condition. And as prostates swell, they place pressure on the bladder, sometimes causing symptoms similar to urinary tract infections.
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