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MountainandRoad
11-26-2005, 06:39 PM
I've read of women having a labiaplasty done for cosmetic reasons, does anyone have any experience with this for athletic reasons? I ride A LOT and this is an ongoing irritating condition. I don't know who to ask about this, because I think its a fairly new procedure. Can anyone offer any insight from personal experience? Its all over the mags as a cosmetic procedure, but that really isn't the issue with me. I hope you guys don't think I'm weird for asking this but my Gyn doc had never heard of it, and my tri buddy suggested I ask in a forum...

runnergirl
11-26-2005, 07:28 PM
Considering that the procedure would mean at least 8 weeks off the bike, I'd try every possible combination of chamios and saddle first! Not to mention the possibility of complications in that area are scary.

How many saddles have you tried?

Trek420
11-26-2005, 07:41 PM
If I had any discomfort I'd rather spend the money on a new bike. :cool:

MountainandRoad
11-26-2005, 07:42 PM
I've got a good saddle, and would you site your sources for your comments about "scary complications" other than maybe rumor? I was hoping for someone with personal experience. There are some things you can't fix with any kind of saddle, and believe me, I've tried more than a few, with cutouts etc. its not the saddle that is the problem. If you don't have the problem, then you probably don't know what I mean...I can tell you, its not the optimum.

MountainandRoad
11-26-2005, 07:45 PM
The thing is, it gets in the way of everything, not just cycling, although cycling is the worst. I've got the best Pearl Izumi microsensor shorts with a pad thick enough to land a plane on, chamois butter blah blah blah..and you are right about 8 weeks off the bike...which is almost worse than the problem LOL
:eek:

runnergirl
11-26-2005, 08:36 PM
If you google the procedure, which I'm sure you have, there are risks (like with any proceudre), nerve damage in particular worries me. I have a condition called vulvar vestibulitis, thankfully I'm still able to ride, but am unable to have sex (caused by excess growth of nerves etc). Depending on how the labiaplasty is performed, it sounds like some of the same nerves could be damaged-but that depends on your specific anatomy-only a surgeon could identify the risks in your case. It sounds like you're ready to see a surgeon-they might even be able to put you in touch with women who have had the procedure.

JanT
11-27-2005, 10:27 AM
My personal opinion: proceed cautiously! My next door neighbor's friend was in good shape, but unhappy with the little bulge around her belly button. She went in for liposuction, and that night a blood clot lodged in her heart and killed her. Surgery is surgery, and there are risks. Just be sure that the pros outway the cons for you. Good luck, whatever you choose.

RoadRaven
11-27-2005, 08:48 PM
My suggestion echoes the other girls here...

Get loads of opinions on whether surgery is recommended, desirable or useful...
Surgery is surgery, and anything invoving anaesthetic and a knife involves risks...

Proceed cautiously and look at all possible options before considering the possibility of trimming your girly bits...

MountainandRoad
11-28-2005, 09:50 PM
thanks for the comments, this forum is really great for discussing things you can't bring up with anyone else. and its absolutely true Any surgical procedure carries risk, which was what I was asking about. Was wondering if anyone else has had this problem, and has gotten surgery. Having been through a few other surgeries now, what is really key is the doctor...one needs to know without doubt, they are in competent hands...still, there is no life without risk.
How do you deal with not being able to have sex, runner girl? That must be a tough one...I'm almost in the same boat, since I really don't want anyone to see this, its not THAT weird, but I'm self conscious about letting anyone see it, so I"m living the life of a nun...LOL

Yasmin
11-29-2005, 03:33 AM
Sorry to read of your dilemma Mtn&Road.I cannot advise you firsthand as I don't have that problem. However, my husband is a surgeon & I asked him about it once after I'd read it in a magazine. He doesn't perform this type of surgery (he's a neurosurgeon) but has heard about the procedure. I thought it was just a matter of trimming a little skin, but he says it's more complicated than that. He has heard of "stuff ups" & would advise anyone to thoroughly shop for a good surgeon. Don't go with the first one you see but get at least 3 opinions. I know this is time consuming (& you sound like you want it over & done with) but it'll be a life time of relief if you pick the right person... & a life time of hell if you don't.
You're right, the girls here are terrific when it comes to discussing things you can't bear to discuss with anyone else. I can feel your anxiety & I wish you all the best whatever you decide to do.

Irulan
11-29-2005, 10:40 AM
since I really don't want anyone to see this, its not THAT weird, but I'm self conscious about letting anyone see it, so I"m living the life of a nun...LOL


um, how do you know you are or not not within the range of "normal"? Or is this just a choice you are making on your own, cycling issues aside?

i.

Eaglewalker
12-08-2005, 09:52 AM
I must preface my remarks by saying that this is not in any way intended as a criticism of MountainandRoad, who may in fact have a real problem.

When I saw the title of this topic, I thought, "What? It can't really mean what it sounds like?" So I did some research on the Internet, and was horrified and sickened to discover that American women are choosing to engage in the female genital mutilation that is perpetrated on girls in some parts of Africa, and is generally considered an outrage. There were a couple of web sites with "before" and "after" photos, and 90% of the pictures were of normal, healthy vulvas -- but they were the vulvas of adult women in the "before" pictures, which were diced up in order to look like the vulvas of pre-pubescent girls in the "after" pictures.

I'm thinking hell; I'm thinking handbaskets.

From the sports angle, I'm really confused. What the average man has between his legs is far larger than what any woman has between her legs, but I have never heard of a man wishing to have his manly parts removed in order to prevent chafing. Maybe I'm just reading the wrong magazines? :confused:

RoadRaven
12-09-2005, 10:21 AM
Like Eaglewalker, I am stunned anyone would consider this for any reason other than purely medical... we have seats with channels, we have wider seats to suit our hips so we are positioned well, we have padded shorts in many shapes and styles...

Which is why I will reiterate my earlier comment - get loads and loads of opinions before you even begin to consider thinking about saying maybe to this - the potential for constant pain is huge...

And regarding the "range of normal" comments in several posts... again, I support the questioning about how does one know? Many of the girly mags/web-sites (which are the easiest place to find pix and make comparisons) are "touched up" (scuse the almost-pun)... uneven lips, extra wrinklybits and even colours are edited... and this gives completely "neat" but completely unrealistic ideas of "perfect"...

And Eaglewalker... its not just Africa that still mutilates girls (sometimes as young as 3) and women's genitals... it also happens in some parts of Asia, and in some parts of the Middle East... often without the use of anaestheticor hygiene as we know it in Western hospitals.

Eaglewalker
12-09-2005, 11:03 AM
I'd forgotten about the Middle East -- didn't know about Asia -- excuse me while I go find a closet to hide in while I have a nice quiet freak-out moment. :eek:

RoadRaven
12-09-2005, 03:40 PM
I'd forgotten about the Middle East -- didn't know about Asia -- excuse me while I go find a closet to hide in while I have a nice quiet freak-out moment. :eek:


Save me a spot, Eagle... every time I think about it... or worse, incorporate it into my teaching and tell a group of women about it, I feel physically ill.

In fact, don't just save me a spot in your cringe-closet, bring me a sick bucket too...


Mountain and Road... please don't think Eagle and my freak-out session is aimed at you and this research and ultimate decision you make. At least the choice you make will be informed and for good reason with sound medical feedback and support.

amg
12-10-2005, 08:15 PM
And regarding the "range of normal" comments in several posts... again, I support the questioning about how does one know? Many of the girly mags/web-sites (which are the easiest place to find pix and make comparisons) are "touched up" (scuse the almost-pun)... uneven lips, extra wrinklybits and even colours are edited... and this gives completely "neat" but completely unrealistic ideas of "perfect"...

And Eaglewalker... its not just Africa that still mutilates girls (sometimes as young as 3) and women's genitals... it also happens in some parts of Asia, and in some parts of the Middle East... often without the use of anaestheticor hygiene as we know it in Western hospitals.



I read somewhere that the reason girly mags have women with smaller labia was because of some law that decided larger labia were more provocative and so were too suggestive to have in the magazines...and so over the years people have been "programmed" to see only the one type as the ideal woman's genitalia. I'll have to see if I can find where I read that - I'd done a Google search one day after reading that some plastic surgeons are offering labiaplasty as a cosmetic procedure. I think it's one of the signs of the huge effect mass media has on our lives Before, no one knew what labia were "supposed" to look like, so there was no right or wrong way to look. Now we have to look like the women in magazines, because isn't that how the "beautiful" people look?

However I can see how someone might want to get it done if there was a definite physical reason. That's a delicate area, and constant irritation might make it more prone to infection, wouldn't you think?

A little addendum...heard a documentary on the radio a while ago...genital mutilation often involves removal of the entire clitoris and the stitching up of the vagina - a bit more extreme than labiaplasty - although both make me want to cross my legs! :eek:

PS - why is this discussion under nutrition?? :confused:

doc
12-11-2005, 04:04 AM
Genital mutilation virtually always includes the clitoris. The usual "point" of it is to reduce female pleasure thereby making females less likely to be promiscuous. I'm sure it works as there is often so much pain with urination, let alone sex, after the butchery that the women try to avoid sex at all costs.

That aside, I am deeply deeply saddened by some of the things that have become important in our society. The idea of cosmetic labiaplasty is truly horrifying. As a doc, I have seen zillions of labia over the years. All of the "before" pictures on those web sites are completely normal. I honestly can't imagine why any of those women had surgery. It makes me so sad to think that women are so disconnected from what is really important in life to think that cutting off a 1/2 inch or less of one of their body parts will make life better. Especially when it is a body part that only very few others would ever see, and is doubtful they would care about the symmetry. Plus, those few others should be people who care about the woman. The surgeons should be ashamed of themselves. Any woman who comes to them for surgery should instead be sent to counseling.

Of course none of the above rant applies to someone who has a functional problem. It is very rare, but not unheard of, that labia can be large enough to cause physical problems. But this is extremely uncommon. Of course anyone who has difficulty performing normal physical acts deserves the best modern medicine can offer.

mary9761
12-11-2005, 09:13 AM
I can attest to just how painful ANY surgery to the afforemented areas is. I had to have a very rare [I was told] angiomyofibroblastoma removed that had swollen to the point it appeared I had grown a testicle, it was so painful before the surgery especially since the skin was stretched so much. The tumour [thankfully benign] was mistaken for an abscess and then a bartholen's {sp?} cyst and they tried lancing it multiple times and it did nothing but BLEED. After about a month of terrible pain, I was scheduled for surgery to remove [at that time] the unknown growth.
When I woke from surgery, I was in the worst pain I'd EVER felt. There was a doctor with evidently an AUDIENCE [not sure because my eyes weren't opening yet] that was telling them there was no possible way I was hurting as badly as I was putting on [turned out SOMEONE forgot to give me a PAIN BLOCK so I wouldn't wake in so much pain], as he grabbed my bits which were swollen to the size of a ham hock and ROUGHLY administed a pain injection. If I'd had my faculties enough to have moved my legs, that doctor would have found out exactly WHAT PAIN WAS, as he would have been kicked squarely in HIS BITS!!! :mad: Awww, that CAN'T POSSIBLY HURT THAT BAD.... :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:
Anyways, making this as short as possible, [too late I know] during recovery, some of my stitching came partially undone so I had raw edges and nerves exposed during the already painful healing process. Why someone would want to put themselves through all of this for COSMETIC only reasons I will never understand. There are times that I still get a twinge of pain for no apparent reason in the area. :(

doc
12-11-2005, 03:08 PM
.....
Why someone would want to put themselves through all of this for COSMETIC only reasons I will never understand. There are times that I still get a twinge of pain for no apparent reason in the area. :(

I'm glad your tumor was benign. You make a good point. Areas with increased sensitivity have an increased number of nerve endings. Messing with that is messing with fire.

Yasmin
12-11-2005, 03:41 PM
Where does the message "I'm not OK" come from in so many of us? I think it's very sad too. I'm fed up with the constant judgements of others which become ingrained self judgements. It can ruin your self esteem & life. For what?? To please some imperfect, judgemental other who will never be pleased anyway because they basically hate themselves & project it everywhere? This does not make for an inwardly peaceful life

MountainandRoad
12-30-2005, 05:15 PM
I want to thank all of you for offering your comments, but how did this go from a labia procedure for reasons purely related to discomfort, to 'genital mutilation' having to do with the clitoris etc, and a discussion of why not to do it for cosmetic reasons? This problem is truly uncomfortable, for anyone riding over 20 miles at a time, much less over 150 miles a week...that being said and even in spite of this, no sensible person in her right mind would subject themselves to this kind of surgery (and risk) to meet "the ideal".
The biggest problem is finding a doctor who is competent, and I don't think there is any way to really know that. Believe me (and no offense doc, your comments were duly noted) not only would a man not understand how this feels, but physicians and surgeons are human and make mistakes and mess up just like any human. The ongoing discomfort is a concern, but there are sure bigger ones in life...some of you sound like you've had nightmares at the hands of the medical profession. I feel for all of you!

Irulan
12-30-2005, 06:21 PM
I want to thank all of you for offering your comments, but how did this go from a labia procedure for reasons purely related to discomfort, to 'genital mutilation' having to do with the clitoris etc, and a discussion of why not to do it for cosmetic reasons? ...


welcome to the internet, it's called "thread drift".:D

spazzdog
12-31-2005, 06:25 AM
Hey MountainandRoad... I'm staying out of the political and diving into the discomfort.

Buy a Koobi saddle (www.koobi.com). I've recommended them all over this board ( I ought to ask Koobi for a freebie). I can not tell you what a difference their saddles make to the comfort of the "nether region".

They have models for road, mountain, racing... chk them out. You can buy it, ride it for a while (I think 30 days) and return it if not satisfied. Try it before you do the surgery... I think you'll be pleased.

spazzdog (who is fond of her nether region and treats it nicely)

doc
12-31-2005, 07:54 AM
The biggest problem is finding a doctor who is competent, and I don't think there is any way to really know that. Believe me (and no offense doc, your comments were duly noted) not only would a man not understand how this feels, but physicians and surgeons are human and make mistakes and mess up just like any human.

Absolutely no offense taken. I am always acutely aware of my human falability. I prefer patients to consider me an imperfect human who is working with them rather than a super-being with a magic wand. I want to provide them with the most relevant and accurate information I can. I also include my opinion. Then I want them to think, consider and make choices for themselves.

The best place to find a quality plastic surgeon would be at a hospital affiliated with a medical school in a big city. You want a surgeon who does largely reconstructive work and extremely little cosmetic work. You want the surgeon to have a title of some sort with the medical school. Good luck and I hope things work out comfortably for you whatever you decide.

PS don't take thread drift personally. We all have our own agendas.

MountainandRoad
01-04-2006, 06:02 PM
think I'll try the Koobi route before the medical/surgery route (thank you for that!), but thank you for the guidelines also doc...coming from an insider, this information is invaluable...
Will let you know how the Koobi saddle works out...

RoadRaven
01-06-2006, 12:44 AM
I want to thank all of you for offering your comments, but how did this go from a labia procedure for reasons purely related to discomfort, to 'genital mutilation' having to do with the clitoris etc, and a discussion of why not to do it for cosmetic reasons? This problem is truly uncomfortable, for anyone riding over 20 miles at a time, much less over 150 miles a week...that being said and even in spite of this, no sensible person in her right mind would subject themselves to this kind of surgery (and risk) to meet "the ideal".

Sorry Mountain... I guess I am one of the culprits here... I guess I have just heard/read so many women discussing this procedure as a viable option and using some medical reason (often quite lame) to cover what is obviously cosmetic motivation.

I guess I just wanted to be sure that not only you had considered this procedure, but also that any others not giving your words a close reading would also consider the seriousness of such a procedure.

I understand your discomfort as a real one which needs a solution and I sincerely hope you can find an informed, skilled and sympathetic professional who can assist you in whatever descision you make.

Again, my apologies if i caused you personal offence.

Good luck with the Koobi saddle, I anticipate and hope that this is solution enough because aside from anything else... any surgery will have you off the bike for a while, and we all know how frustrating that can be.

Eaglewalker
01-08-2006, 12:42 PM
Don't leave the Easy Seat saddle off your list of options. I can't ride two miles, let alone twenty, without irritation on anything resembling a standard saddle. Goodness, I can't even sit in pants without irritation, unless they are very loose. I've used an Easy Seat for 10 - 15 years without a hint of irritation, in spite of sneers from those who feel it disqualifies me from being a "serious cyclist".

I suppose it war me wot hijacked this thread, and that was on account of the mention that dicing up one's vulva was being promoted in women's magazines. I'm like the Elephant's Child with my 'satiable curiousity, so I just had to see what was up. Once I found out, I was so horrified that I needed to express myself.

justduckie06
01-13-2006, 11:16 AM
If I'm correct, I believe that this topic was on a fairly recent episode of Law and order. Obviously they were covering the non medical side of it, but it was pretty wild. I had no idea about this until I saw the show then did a little more investigating myself. It's totally scary. I've had some of my own issues in the nether regions and it's definitely not comfortable to ride with, but it's just one of those grin and bare it times. I mean I've been riding bikes and horses since I was a kid and I've always wanted to know how the heck guys do it!?! It's hard enough being a girl! So I'd never opt for the surgery. but definitely, definitely look for doctors!!! I had surgery on the nerves in my ankle, what should have been a 50 minute outpatient surgery and ended up being in surgery for 8 hours! And the nerves are permanently messed up now. So be careful if you decide to have surgery!

yesidid
01-19-2008, 02:40 PM
OK. When I was considering labiaplasty, I read these boards. The comments about it being sexual mutilation, etc. is just wrong. I have been considering doing an Ironman; however, because of pain on my labia, I could not tolerate more than five hours on a bike. Yes. I had great bike shorts. Yes. I had the best bike seat. Yes. I had my bike re-fitted many times. Ironman training was out because I couldn't do it. I did the surgery in the "off season" and took about six weeks off the bike. The painful recovery time was supposed to be 1-2 weeks. I have to admit, I had discomfort for about five full weeks. It was very frustrating and I thought I made a huge mistake. I started running and biking again about a month ago. I did a five and a half hour ride last weekend. My legs were killing me, but no labia pain. I am very happy with my decision to do it. It was just a little snip snip. And, evidently, its a pretty common procedure for women to get their "wings clipped". Much more common than we realize. Anyway...now I just need to get signed up for the ironman. This excuse is out of the way. Oh. And P.S. Regarding it impacting any sexual stimulation....not true. It's actually increased sensitivity (in a good way). All worth the $3,500 I paid.

velogirl
01-19-2008, 05:22 PM
MountainandRoad -- you are not crazy. I know someone who had labiaplasty because of cycling. She's a pretty hard-core pro endurance athlete (think RAAM) and the excess labial tissue caused continual saddle sores. I know she suffered some pretty debilitating nerve damage post-surgery which kept her off the bike for a long time and I don't think she would choose to do the surgery again if given the option.

While I'm not comfortable disclosing her name or giving out her email address without permission, I could pass your contact information onto her if you would like to chat.

Lorri

ps -- ladies, try to remember that surgery is a personal choice. M&R asked a personal question and it likely took her a long time to find the courage to ask it. let's not make her feel uncomfortable by passing judgement.

shootingstar
01-19-2008, 06:29 PM
Unbelievable that some women would have it done for ...cosmetic reasons. :confused:

On the other side, sometimes I feel abit tougher....because I don't even cycle with padded shorts ...have cycled over 100 kms. per day during cycling season. I've been cycling for past 17 years. So I'm probably the extreme here... I'm the sort of person that doesn't take pills for headaches...which headaches are rare for me. But I digress..

Please do try different saddles with cut-outs.

And for guys ...no sometimes they can't move their thingy aside while cycling..I asked. My partner cycles heavily....up 10,000 kms. annually.

Andrea
01-19-2008, 06:44 PM
I'm glad someone else started this thread. I've probably got what some would consider more skin than "normal."
I have had an inkling of this type of surgery in the back of my mind for a while- especially the day that the cutout in my selle an-atomica somehow pinched shut on me :eek: I also have a problem with the usual foam saddle because as the foam breaks in, it will breakdown into the saddle's cutout area and make it much smaller than usual- not as acutely painful as the an-atomica issue, but really bad numbness/soreness/between-the-skinfolds chafing on any rides over 40 miles.

I've never been bothered by my looks- I've just had a hell of a time finding a saddle (I've been riding for a year & a half and still looking). Let us know how everything turns out!

shootingstar
01-19-2008, 06:54 PM
Well, I don't feel as wierd for not wearing padded shorts.....

Tokie
04-14-2008, 08:27 PM
Hi Mt and Road. I work at a hospital based outpatient surgery. One of our patients was a teenager whose labia were disproportionately long. She had sustained rather serious trauma to it due to it's size when she was riding her bike- bounced on the seat or top tube or something, and had quite a painful recovery. So having it reduced to "normal" proportions was an easy choice for her. Another patient, also a younger woman, had one labia that was quite a bit larger than the other, and subject to chafing and trauma - it seemed like something I would do if it were me too. I would certainly look for a gynecologist who had done the surgery more than a few times and could discuss reasonable outcomes, your expectations,risks, etc. Good luck! Tokie

SoCalQT2
04-17-2008, 08:08 AM
Wow, this sounds really scary. I'm sorry you have to go through this and I wish you the best of luck however you decide to proceed

corey
04-17-2008, 07:21 PM
I want to thank all of you for offering your comments, but how did this go from a labia procedure for reasons purely related to discomfort, to 'genital mutilation' having to do with the clitoris etc, and a discussion of why not to do it for cosmetic reasons? This problem is truly uncomfortable, for anyone riding over 20 miles at a time, much less over 150 miles a week...that being said and even in spite of this, no sensible person in her right mind would subject themselves to this kind of surgery (and risk) to meet "the ideal".


I, too, know the true discomfort of having larger lady parts... and have considered this procedure myself. My motive is purely to eliminate discomfort. I have chronic issues with my labia- sorry to be graphic- but I don't think some people have an understanding of what it is like to not be able to wear certain panties or pants, or to even be able to sit in certain positions because of labia pain. I also have constant rubbing when I walk, run, cycle, etc. It's an ongoing & constant issue that doesn't go away.

I think my body is beautiful and I would hate to have to purposefully remove
'1/2 inch of flesh' from any part of my body for any reason... but if my quality of life can be improved, I am certainly going to consider it.

I don't consider a voluntary labia reduction procedure to be genital mutilation if the purpose is to reduce discomfort and improve quality of life. I don't think it's any different than a man who has a varicocelectomy. (That's basically procedure to remove a painful varicose vein on a testicle.)

missjulied
04-21-2008, 01:47 PM
The thing is, it gets in the way of everything, not just cycling, although cycling is the worst. I've got the best Pearl Izumi microsensor shorts with a pad thick enough to land a plane on, chamois butter blah blah blah..and you are right about 8 weeks off the bike...which is almost worse than the problem LOL
:eek:

I find that the thicker the pad, the more pressure is put on that area. What's the point of a seat with a cutout if your shorts are just pressing into your crotch anyway? You might consider trying shorts with a little more breathing room, to take advantage of a cutout saddle.

Good Luck!

Brandi
04-22-2008, 06:50 AM
I understand! i have often thought there was something odd about my labia. It has excess (or what i thought was) skin. It actually make sex difficult sometimes. But I work it out. Again I have thought from pictures I have seen that i was not normal. And I have at time had to adjust myself on my bike because of irritation. But you know my husband has loved my body now for 20 years and has never said anything but kind words about it. I would be wary of messing with things down there that is for sure. I like sex and would hate to mess that up. But considering I have had slight irritation at times if you are really suffering them maybe it is the right thing for you.
Like already said just be careful even the best Dr can mess up.
I just read a story about Julie Andrews.She was having a simple operation on her throat and the Dr messed up and ruined her voice forever. Sad!

OakLeaf
04-22-2008, 07:27 AM
I don't know about you, but my labia aren't the only part of my body that don't look like porn stars' parts.

Whatever you are is NORMAL for you!

Absolutely, if someone's tried everything short of surgery to relieve pain, then find a Board-certified, experienced surgeon. But be wary of people who want you to alter your body to fit into something that just doesn't - whether it's an ill-fitting saddle, particular clothes, or a porn star's body image - when simply getting something that fits properly would relieve any pain.

RoseRydr
04-22-2008, 03:21 PM
I second the vote on M&R trying a Koobie saddle. I went through many saddles, many with cut outs, that did not work for me. Chafing between the labia major and minor... Ouch!:eek: Koobie's the only thing I'll ride any more. And the women to whom I've recommended it have tried it & loved it! A split all the way down the nose and channeled all the way down... You never know, it could work!

And I agree, less padding helps. It seem counter intuitive but it's just more fabric and stuff pressing on the "bits".

But bottom line, M&R. You gotta do what's right for you. I like doc's advice, a reconstructive doc connected with a university. Get references. Get three opinions. Best to you.

stacie13
04-24-2008, 08:46 AM
For those recommending the Koobi saddles - any particular style you like?

MountainandRoad - I have some minor irritations while riding (numbness), and can't imagine what it would be like if it was worse. That is bad enough, not to mention annoying!! Good luck! Sounds like you're thoroughly doing your research though, and that's great.

Di bear
04-24-2008, 03:49 PM
Its all over the mags as a cosmetic procedure, but that really isn't the issue with me.

COSMETIC procedure. I'm against cosmetic surgery, especially since I have the pleasure of working with women and their gynecological issues professionally. Cosmetic surgery is not a solution. Sure, different surgeries actually do work for some people, but having your gallbladder out seems to be easier than having even a nose job.

Leave your labia alone. Unfortunately, there are pain issues that are common and the health community has a long future of trying to figure out pain. There is still so much to learn. People put so much faith in the medical community and surgery, and there is a lot we can do, but there is a lot we are venturing into that we will most likely be correcting, or trying to correct in the decades to come. Microsoft Windows is kids' stuff compared to the complexities of the human body.

This kind of stuff just pisses me off. I'm so sick our free, "civilized" society objectifying women and treating their bodies like blowup dolls.

I don't know about you guys, but the genes that are responsible for my labia have worked successfully for generations of women for millennia, and I fully intend to keep mine as is. Yes, I also have hair down there. :eek: Go figure. I'm a mammal. Golly gee.

MountainandRoad, I'm not picking on you. :) The topic just got me to rant. I do have a bit of discomfort after riding for about 90 minutes or more, so I am going to look into different women's saddles. I hear finding the right one can make a world of difference.

OakLeaf
04-24-2008, 04:54 PM
I don't know how many of you are reading the male hair removal thread, but among the places that thread has drifted was into the mention of a male porn star who's an accomplished cyclist. If HE doesn't have "too much" down there to ride a bike comfortably....

stacie13
04-25-2008, 12:59 PM
I don't know about you guys, but the genes that are responsible for my labia have worked successfully for generations of women for millennia, and I fully intend to keep mine as is. Yes, I also have hair down there. :eek: Go figure. I'm a mammal. Golly gee.

LOL!!!!!:D:D

sapphira
04-25-2008, 05:09 PM
COSMETIC procedure. I'm against cosmetic surgery, especially since I have the pleasure of working with women and their gynecological issues professionally. Cosmetic surgery is not a solution. Sure, different surgeries actually do work for some people, but having your gallbladder out seems to be easier than having even a nose job.

Leave your labia alone. Unfortunately, there are pain issues that are common and the health community has a long future of trying to figure out pain. There is still so much to learn. People put so much faith in the medical community and surgery, and there is a lot we can do, but there is a lot we are venturing into that we will most likely be correcting, or trying to correct in the decades to come. Microsoft Windows is kids' stuff compared to the complexities of the human body.

This kind of stuff just pisses me off. I'm so sick our free, "civilized" society objectifying women and treating their bodies like blowup dolls.

I don't know about you guys, but the genes that are responsible for my labia have worked successfully for generations of women for millennia, and I fully intend to keep mine as is. Yes, I also have hair down there. :eek: Go figure. I'm a mammal. Golly gee.

MountainandRoad, I'm not picking on you. :) The topic just got me to rant. I do have a bit of discomfort after riding for about 90 minutes or more, so I am going to look into different women's saddles. I hear finding the right one can make a world of difference.
I'd like to offer a different perspective. It wasn't society that made me hate my labia. I was only 12 years old, going through puberty, never seen a porno magazine in my life nor a blow up doll, and completely horrified when my vagina started to enlarge, and my inner labia got so big that they pushed themselves downwards. I felt like something was wrong. They are discolored, stretchy, and itchy. I have to take showers all the time to clean them. Men get the flesh of the skin around their penis' head removed; why can't women opt to do the same type of procedure, especially if they make the choice and for hygienic purposes?

That same 12 year old girl feelings are still carried within me to this day. I am VERY uncomfortable with the size of my vagina, always have been and always will until I receive the labioplasty procedure. It has gotten worse as I've gotten older as time takes it toll, and so has the chafing, irritation, and pain during sex. I'd like to enjoy my life, not have to worry about a certain body part that's giving me so many problems. That's why I think it's short sighted to merely blame it on "society objectifying women". If that was the case, then I'd have dyed my hair blonde and gotten breast implants a long time ago. Besides, I'm doing it for myself, as are most women making the choice. I could care less about trends in plastic surgery or sexual attitudes in society. I fully honor my own and don't let others decide for me. I am thrilled that this procedure is available.

KnottedYet
04-25-2008, 06:14 PM
I work in pelvic rehab.

We see some pretty interesting stuff.

I second the plea for getting 3 opinions before having anything done. And may I recommend that at least one be from a urologist or gynecologist?

During the surgeon investigation process, do talk to at least one who does gender-reassignment surgeries (sex change operations). They are very familiar with that neighborhood. (and boy, do they do some incredible work!)

AmyJ
04-09-2012, 07:14 AM
I had a labiaplasty performed due to the fact that it was very difficult to ride for long periods of time without experiencing some major discomfort. For me the choice was easy, either have the surgery, or quit riding all together. I could not even fathom the latter! The surgery turned out to be very successful! Now, not only do I have more confidence in my appearance, but I no longer experience pain in that area. I could not have asked for a better outcome!

Susan
04-11-2012, 03:41 AM
I know the problem and just as a sidenote, have often thought that cycling shorts are just not designed right for women with larger labiae. I think the velvet-like materials they use may be comfortable for men, but for the mucous surface that women have "down there" wouldn't some kind of "slicker" surface work better? Sorry for the hijack.

I can relate to the described problems, but for myself, would be too worried about nerve damage. I'd have a hard time living a life without or with impaired feelings during sexual intercourse.

zoom-zoom
04-11-2012, 07:37 AM
I know the problem and just as a sidenote, have often thought that cycling shorts are just not designed right for women with larger labiae. I think the velvet-like materials they use may be comfortable for men, but for the mucous surface that women have "down there" wouldn't some kind of "slicker" surface work better? Sorry for the hijack.

That's a really good question. Frequently I feel like all the chamois butter in the world doesn't keep my chamois from feeling like dry sandpaper. Add that to the issue of my labia getting pinched between my pubic bone and the saddle and zowie owie! :(

TsPoet
04-11-2012, 09:34 AM
Wow, interesting old thread.
2 comments -
1) maybe less is more? I keep reading about thick chamois and lots of butter. Try thin chamois?
2) ever thought about recumbent? Yes, they are very different, but they are still really nice road bikes and they are very comfy. I'm as fast on my bent as I ever was on a road bike, and a whole lot more comfortable in numerous places.

zoom-zoom
04-11-2012, 09:43 AM
Wow, interesting old thread.
2 comments -
1) maybe less is more? I keep reading about thick chamois and lots of butter. Try thin chamois?

There's definitely something to that. I'm really fond of the chamois in my Shebeest shorts, vs. the one in my PI shorts. Shebeest is just really hard to find, now.

Catrin
04-11-2012, 09:48 AM
I've tried thin chamois and tend to have far more trouble with them...am I the only one with this problem? Just curious if my butt is just odd...yeah PI chamois are something like a diaper (the 3D), but I don't have near the problem with them.

Terry has a mountain bike liner that my butt likes, though I don't think I could use it for a long road ride. Fine for shorter road rides and for mountain biking though.

Blueberry
04-11-2012, 09:50 AM
There's definitely something to that. I'm really fond of the chamois in my Shebeest shorts, vs. the one in my PI shorts. Shebeest is just really hard to find, now.

Thankfully, they'll be back in full force within a year. They changed ownership and are working on new product lines. Check their facebook page - they've been showing teasers of clothing lines!

zoom-zoom
04-11-2012, 09:56 AM
Thankfully, they'll be back in full force within a year. They changed ownership and are working on new product lines. Check their facebook page - they've been showing teasers of clothing lines!

Yep, but my 2 pair of shorts may not last that long. Boo. :(

Susan
04-11-2012, 12:02 PM
I too like thinner chamois better. I'm fond of the Loeffler cycling shorts but they are expensive.

I still think the usual chamois material isn't the best option for women. It seems to me that it does the same thing that a piece of cloth in your mouth would do wich doesn't feel good either ;).

bellissima
04-11-2012, 03:52 PM
I've read of women having a labiaplasty done for cosmetic reasons, does anyone have any experience with this for athletic reasons? I ride A LOT and this is an ongoing irritating condition. I don't know who to ask about this, because I think its a fairly new procedure. Can anyone offer any insight from personal experience? Its all over the mags as a cosmetic procedure, but that really isn't the issue with me. I hope you guys don't think I'm weird for asking this but my Gyn doc had never heard of it, and my tri buddy suggested I ask in a forum...

MountainandRoad you're not alone. I've had experience at work with female athletes having the same problem (I deal with female athletes and female related cycling issues) With the most severe cases, changing saddles, shorts and applying anti-chafe cream had little or no difference at all. Ultimately one of the females had to quit cycling as surgery was not an option for her.

crys.jo
06-11-2015, 05:21 PM
I had a labiaplasty performed due to the fact that it was very difficult to ride for long periods of time without experiencing some major discomfort. For me the choice was easy, either have the surgery, or quit riding all together. I could not even fathom the latter! The surgery turned out to be very successful! Now, not only do I have more confidence in my appearance, but I no longer experience pain in that area. I could not have asked for a better outcome!
I am looking into this procedure for two reasons one the fact that riding is rather painful. I'm on saddle #7. So far the best are wise nose cut outs and thin chamois. The second reason is that I can't even wear pants anymore, skirts only. Anything that touches that area is irritating. I could care less about looks. I liken it to a breast reduction. If they are you big and hurt your back, wouldn't you want them reduced?

zoom-zoom
06-12-2015, 09:36 AM
I am looking into this procedure for two reasons one the fact that riding is rather painful. I'm on saddle #7. So far the best are wise nose cut outs and thin chamois. The second reason is that I can't even wear pants anymore, skirts only. Anything that touches that area is irritating. I could care less about looks. I liken it to a breast reduction. If they are you big and hurt your back, wouldn't you want them reduced?

As someone who has had breast reduction (covered by insurance, since it was reconstructive, not cosmetic. Went from a DDD to a D), I have to agree. Had I not had my boobs downsized I never would have taken up running...and eventually cycling. I went through EASILY a dozen saddles before trying a Selle SMP. The Drakon model is my favorite. I have a friend trying the somewhat less-padded Dynamic and having good luck with it, too, for similar reasons. I wholeheartedly recommend giving one or two of these saddles a try, on the off-chance that you might avoid surgery. Perhaps not irritating your labial area while riding will help things become less sensitive when wearing pants, as well.

guinness
07-02-2015, 12:29 PM
Well, I'm currently relaxing on the couch about 48 hours after labiaplasty. So I figure I might as well contribute. If you're not into TMI, now is a good time to stop reading.


I had a breast reduction done 6 years ago at age 34: 34DDD to 34C. It was life-changing. No more debilitating neck muscle strains (which I used to get a few times a year), greatly reduced upper back pain (though I still have some pain doing certain activities... probably did some permanent damage in the years I lived in misery). Less hormonal pain from cysts, which was sometimes bad enough I had to walk with care to avoid too much painful bounce. As a bonus, I even got ride of a bit of breast tissue in my armpit (maybe more than a bit... it was a bulge big enough to see under clothing)... it also had cysts, and made me wince to put on my antiperspirant. No more wearing a sports bra over a regular bra. I could breathe better. So it opened the door to being more active (cycling for sport as well as transportation) and I lost a few pounds, got healthier, gained confidence. I'm only sorry it took me so long to work up the nerve to talk to a doctor.

In that same spirit of taking care of yourself, during 6 years of mostly happy road bike riding, I've put a lot of thought into my saddle pain. Shorts, saddles, creams, positioning... still squirming not to get my labia pinched. It's a legitimate problem. I sometimes get small tears (which sting), I tend to sit off-kilter to protect my labia minora which means I have persistent saddle-sores on one side, and I even landed on the top tube once, resulting in a bloody flood from a split labia minora that needed a trip to the emergency room for stitches. My labia minora were maybe just at the upper limit of normal (5 cm?), long enough to stick to my thigh when I walk or need re-adjusting of the underwear (that's super irritating, by the way). Also tough to keep clean with so many folds, which may or may not have been made worse from scarring after my rough landing experience. I ride daily, and they've definitely become relatively tough with that treatment, but are still a pretty sensitive body part to be sitting on for an hour or more every day. So I decided to go for labiaplasty after really thinking through the source of my discomfort, and reading stories from other women. I believe it will help me be more comfortable, and it will certainly help me stay cleaner.

My surgery was a simple trim (laser). Twilight anesthetic (I just felt like I slept, and woke up easily). I have virtually no swelling, and have only taken a couple of regular Tylenols the day of the surgery, mostly out of precaution as the local was wearing off. The next day, I was up and walking (normally but carefully), but virtually in no pain, and with no more analgesics. Even had visitors drop by who didn't know I'd just had a surgery the day before. Seriously, I've been in worse pain after a long day of bike riding. Have seen worse swelling after doing a time trial. There is some bleeding, which has almost stopped now. Using the bathroom and gently showering is fine. So, so far I'm kind of thrilled with the surgery, since I was expecting a lot worse. Maybe bike riding has helped toughen me up in that regard? Anyways, I plan to report back once I'm riding again. It will be a few weeks. I'm looking forward to being able to ride as long as *I* want to in the future, rather than just for as long as a certain body part can tolerate it.