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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    San Antonio, TX
    Posts
    2,024

    Saddle Sore From Hell, Need Help Please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    Hi guys, I rode for more than 5 years with a terry butterfly saddle and no problems. Last spring I started to experience crotch pain riding, and thought maybe the pads on my shorts were too compressed (old faithful terrry t-short) so bought new shorts. 2006 version of the t-short hurt, so I ended up with the shebeest SSS and elite distance II. While these felt great, the chamois started tearing on me, and when the tear I would again end up with crotch pain. I took a good look where it hurt last night, and saw raw red rough skin and a white blister in the crease between my labia minora and labia majora. Now, I am not sure I was slathering that area particularly with chamois butter, but will try to pay more attention to that. I don't know if the increased sensitivity could be perimenopause (I turn 49 this month) and while I am more comfortable when I use estrogen vaginal cream the night before a ride, it may be just that I am oozing a cream in the right place and not the estrogen that is helping. I rode for years with a terry butterfly with cut-out at my urologists suggestion to prevent UTIs, but now I think that maybe the cut-out is not giving me enough support. What do you guys think? I am thinking of trying a Brooks, but how do you know which one to try (and they are so expensive if you pick the wrong one). I have pelvic x-rays so I could measure my sit bone distance on them, but not sure what part of the bones you are supposed to measure from if that helps.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Folsom CA
    Posts
    5,672
    Quote Originally Posted by Triskeliongirl
    I am thinking of trying a Brooks, but how do you know which one to try (and they are so expensive if you pick the wrong one).
    Hi -
    Wallingford has an excellent six-month return policy for Brooks saddles, which has been discussed in numerous threads here.

    Just run a search on for wallingford in this forum, or check out wallingford's website at www.wallbike.com, and more will be revealed.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Canandaigua, NY
    Posts
    67
    I had lots of saddle sore issues with my Terry Butterfly as well. I went to a Selle San Marco Atola Gelaround, and I love it. Equally important were:
    1. Consistent, generous use of chamois butter (or udder balm)
    2. Washing the sores & whole crotch area after every ride, and then applying either hydrogen peroxide or alcohol.
    3. Using antibiotic cream (OTC triple antibiotic) on sores, open or not.

    When the sores were bad, I did the alcohol/HO and antibiotic cream several times a day. And a 2-3 day hiatus from riding helps, too.

    Good luck!

    S

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    San Antonio, TX
    Posts
    2,024
    Thanks! I am applying both antibiotic cream and aloe vera, and of course changing out of the shorts quickly. Staying off the bike is harder though. Interestingly this morning I changed out of the shebeest SSS short I commuted in into an old pair of terry shorts in my office. Usually I change into street clothes, but since its a holiday I didn't bother. Then I rode home for lunch so kept the terry shorts on, with the generous chamois butter, and felt a lot better than had in the shebeest. So maybe the shorts are part of it........

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Jersey
    Posts
    294
    Quote Originally Posted by Triskeliongirl View Post
    Hi guys, I rode for more than 5 years with a terry butterfly saddle and no problems. Last spring I started to experience crotch pain riding, and thought maybe the pads on my shorts were too compressed (old faithful terrry t-short) so bought new shorts. 2006 version of the t-short hurt, so I ended up with the shebeest SSS and elite distance II. While these felt great, the chamois started tearing on me, and when the tear I would again end up with crotch pain. I took a good look where it hurt last night, and saw raw red rough skin and a white blister in the crease between my labia minora and labia majora. Now, I am not sure I was slathering that area particularly with chamois butter, but will try to pay more attention to that. I don't know if the increased sensitivity could be perimenopause (I turn 49 this month) and while I am more comfortable when I use estrogen vaginal cream the night before a ride, it may be just that I am oozing a cream in the right place and not the estrogen that is helping. I rode for years with a terry butterfly with cut-out at my urologists suggestion to prevent UTIs, but now I think that maybe the cut-out is not giving me enough support. What do you guys think? I am thinking of trying a Brooks, but how do you know which one to try (and they are so expensive if you pick the wrong one). I have pelvic x-rays so I could measure my sit bone distance on them, but not sure what part of the bones you are supposed to measure from if that helps.

    I know you posted this a long time ago, but I was just reading something else similar to this because I recently developed *what I think is* a cyst again. Have you ever researched something called - Bartholin's Cyst? It sounded like the similar region you were discribing above. Just wanted to pass that by you. How's it doing now?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    San Antonio, TX
    Posts
    2,024
    Thanks for asking. I am totally healed and pain free since I switched to a Brooks Finesse Saddle. In retrospect, I realize the problem was that the buttefly wasn't wide enough in the back to support my sit bones, so all my weight was being borne by my labia, hence the irritation. Getting the Brooks just right also took a tad of work, I found that angling so it is higher in the back but level across the front works best. That is, I put a level across the front ~2" of nose and be sure that is level, but the result is the back of saddle is higher than the front. I also needed a very laid back seatpost for the brooks, since the rails are shorter than on the butterfly. Another problem I had on the butterfly is that is was too wide in front, sometimes giving me sores on my thighs, but that was secondary to the more serious problem I described. So for me, a saddle wide in the back and narrow in front (like the brooks finesse is best). I use to ride with a terry liberator that is more like that, but only switched to the butterfly when it came on a bike I bought, thinking it was an 'upgrade.'

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Switzerland
    Posts
    2,033
    As a trained microbiologist I urge you to please, please, not not not use antibiotic cream just because something is raw. Please use it only if you have a doctor recommend it on an inflamed wound.

    Low-dose application of antibiotics increases the chance of resistance.

    I know they are obtainable OTC in the US, please refrain...
    It's a little secret you didn't know about us women. We're all closet Visigoths.

    2008 Roy Hinnen O2 - Selle SMP Glider
    2009 Cube Axial WLS - Selle SMP Glider
    2007 Gary Fisher HiFi Plus - Specialized Alias

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,101
    I was having the same problems, suddenly, after riding for 5 plus years with the same cut out saddle. Got my new bike and ouch!! Although I did not not have any cysts, I was raw and red on my left side, in the areas you described. I bought a Terry Firefly racing saddle and it improved a bit, but then tried a Brooks for 4-5 months. The Brooks saddle was torture for me. I broke it in, but the issue never went away. In my case, it was menopausal stuff causing the problem. The slight change in the geometry of my new bike set it all off. My doctor prescribed a Estring, which provides a continual low dose of estrogen to the vaginal area only. This way, it doesn't get "washed out" like the cream, or get into your bloodstream. This also has been a big help to, ah, other "areas" of my life. I switched back to the Firefly saddle and now all is perfect.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    3,936
    Wouldn't it be possible that the padding on a given saddle would start giving in and a new saddle would be in order?

    Or maybe you tried that...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    San Antonio, TX
    Posts
    2,024
    Quote Originally Posted by Grog View Post
    Wouldn't it be possible that the padding on a given saddle would start giving in and a new saddle would be in order?

    Or maybe you tried that...
    Yes, and it helped but only for a short while, and I was blowing through butterflies at too fast a rate. The fundamental problem for me was that too much weight was being supported by my soft tissues. When the saddle was new it wouldn't be too bad, but as it got older the foam would compress around the cutout, and the problems would start. Same thing with the shorts, they were tearing for the same reason. But, once I got my weight back on my sit bones, I was fine. For folks that can't adjust to the firmness of the brooks, the terry liberator has a wider rear also. I think for me it got worse over time because I become a higher intensity cyclist, so going longer distances at faster rates of speed exaserbated the problem, as did issues with declining estrogen as I got older.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    2

    Exclamation Aging women Labia majora

    I was so glad to see tis thread. I have also been riding for 23 years on all kind of saddles and all kinds of shorts then all of sudden I had chaffing on th soft vaginal tisssues and labia minora. I couldn't figure out wha to do to help. I'd always been able to "shift" things around and it would be fine but I think the fat pads that are in one's labia mjora when your young slowly disappear when you age (yeah, gross I know)so now there is no padding between the saddle tip and some VERY sensitive areas.

    From what I read here from older women riders it sounds as if special saddles and shorts will help but that this is avery difficult problemt to solve--(maybe a pu___y translpant?) Any other thoughts.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    8,548
    Quote Originally Posted by marepaso View Post
    I was so glad to see tis thread. I have also been riding for 23 years on all kind of saddles and all kinds of shorts then all of sudden I had chaffing on th soft vaginal tisssues and labia minora. I couldn't figure out wha to do to help. I'd always been able to "shift" things around and it would be fine but I think the fat pads that are in one's labia mjora when your young slowly disappear when you age (yeah, gross I know)so now there is no padding between the saddle tip and some VERY sensitive areas.

    From what I read here from older women riders it sounds as if special saddles and shorts will help but that this is avery difficult problemt to solve--(maybe a pu___y translpant?) Any other thoughts.
    It's a real bummer, but what seems to work the best for me is a saddle like my brooks B67 which gives broad support to the sitbones and lots of lube.
    Add to that, good posture, and you're still going to irritate it in the course of a long ride, there are bumps in the road, etc.
    You described it well. I hear that you can use local estrogen cream but it's a huge uphill battle.
    A lot of people swear by their saddles with cutouts, but considering how much you move around on a saddle while riding, i can't imagine how much that really helps.
    Mimi Team TE BIANCHISTA
    for six tanks of gas you could have bought a bike.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    2

    Red face A new saddle and lots 'o lube it is!

    Minitabby, Thanks so much for the advice!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    8,548
    hey, welcome to TE, why don't you find the "get acquainted" thread and introduce yourself~
    I hope what i said helped a little.
    Mimi Team TE BIANCHISTA
    for six tanks of gas you could have bought a bike.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    182
    I am getting a new saddle soon too. It's been okay, but I've been going on longer and longer rides and now my sit bones and the area around my perineum feel bruised as all get out. Any clue as to what kind of saddle to look for? I'm sort of interested in the Specialized Dolce. It's a little wider in the back and has the cut-out channel.

 

 

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