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Cycling will kill you (but not really!)

By Miriam Greene, M.D.

As always it is a treat when we have a blog by Dr. Miriam Greene. She covers topics that we don’t always know or talk about, but are so important. I have had several clients who are cyclists. Several have used Vaginal Renewal Complex to help relieve the effects of cycling and how it can cause vaginal dryness.

Who would think that being an avid cyclist can cause so many different symptoms (one of which is vaginal dryness)? Dr. Greene, however, have had a few very interesting episodes with some of her patients who are cyclist and have had multiple problems. She asked that we share them with you.

So far I’ve been a witness to at least 3 different stories where cycling will kill you. Not really! However, if you do a lot of cycling inside or outside, think about this when you’re having “issues.”

cycling-148956_1280Case #1:

This one required a little surgery….Ahem!

In this instance, my patient had an unusually long labia minora. (Don’t laugh-this happens) This can be genetic or as years go by the labia majora loses fat, and with walking, jogging, or cycling, the labia minora will rub together and lengthen.

Every time my patient cycled, the labia being unprotected became irritated and painful. A minor office procedure (some docs will do this in day surgery) called a labioplasty can solve the problem. And it did. She was back to cycling in 4 weeks: Pain free!

Case #2:

This involved a young 22 year old. She called me c/o irritation and burning on the left upper thigh and vulvar area. She loved cycling. The chronic rubbing of her thighs with pedaling induced severe mechanical stress to the thigh area.

When I saw that she developed Shingles (WOW diagnosing this threw me for a loop) I treated her with an anti-viral called vancyclovir.  She recovered but of course this episode further convinced me that cycling will kill you…

Until the final case which gets the Oscar for best cycling story.


Case #3:

I received an email with a photo from a patient who was in the Emergency Room. Why? Her entire right leg was bruised, swollen and about 5 times the size of her other leg.

The pain she was experiencing was so very intense that she needed a strong narcotic, dilaudid, to quell the pain. The ER staff was bewildered as to what was wrong with the leg–was it a blood clot, vasculitis, Lyme disease?

Nooooo…! I knew that this patient was an avid cyclist so I asked, “Did you recently ride?”

She said, “As a matter of fact my spouse and I just completed a 100 mile ride over the course of 4 days.”

Aha! I explained that she probably ruptured a small blood vessel in her thigh muscle. Over time this slowly bled into the thigh muscle creating what we call a compartment syndrome–blood in an enclosed space! The pressure was so intense the bleeding eventually stopped, but not without causing enormous pain and disfigurement.

Once the bleeding stops the blood will reabsorb and the condition will correct itself. After a 2-day hospital stay, and multiple tests, all professionals agreed that the cycling was the cause. It would take weeks to months before complete reabsorption limiting the patient’s activities…

So there’s nothing more to say except.. Tennis anyone?!


Dr. Miriam Greene

Author: Dr. Miriam Greene

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