I have had BAD swelling on one side of my groin. I've been fitted several times...added shims under my clips (one leg ever so slightly shorter then other), tried more saddles then ever imaginable but still....ouch! This sounds bad and it is. Not just long ride swelling but swelling that doesn't go away....Is there anyone else out there that had experienced this? I've even gone and had it untrasounded to see if there was fluid there that needed draining....that isn' t it. HELP?
I'm not a lady, but in the years that I raced I spent a fair amount of time with the girls in the club (no, not in THAT way this is a family oriented board!), some of which had issues similar to yours.
If you've tried a few saddles and nothing changed then the problem is likely elsewhere. First place to look - and the closest too you - your shorts. As with saddles, women specific is best. The style of the shorts is different as is the padding. Speaking of women specific, due to being proportioned a little differently than men, most women do better with a handlebar stem that's shorter and higher. Being stretched out too much on a 'mens bike' isn't always the best - and no, I'm not being condisending, there really are (just in case you didn't know) women specific road bikes that have shorter top tubes that help alieviate the issues I described with the shorter/higher stem. The handlebars should be set a comfortable distance away - you shouldn't have to reach or feel like you're being stretched out. You first need to be comfy...
One other thing to look out for and this effect some men too, is the possible reaction to certain laundry soaps/detergent. Whilst your favorite detergent may be fine on regular clothes, when you're sitting on a saddle for some time in sweaty shorts (yes, I know, ladies sweat too!) it's very possible that the left over soap that didn't quite get rinsed out of the padding in the shorts will react - moreso if it's one with a biological cleaning agent. Try something that's very gentle - like soap flakes (I'm a guy, name brands escape me on this...) but anything that's good for babies will be fine. Hand wash and rinse very well...
Depending on the shorts you have you may/may not need some chamois cream. Assos make the best stuff and it carries an appropriate price tag but it is worth it's weight in gold. If in doubt whether you need some or not check the manufacturers (of your shorts) website.
I'd probably wait until the swelling went down before resuming cycling though.
Good luck and happy future cycling.
I don't know if your swelling has subsided. If not, may I suggest the book Complete Medical Guide for Cyclistby Andy Pruitt? It uses small adjustments - which is usually what is needed to ensure a proper fit. .
On the other hand, if it is considerable swelling (golf ball size or larger) it may be that you are compressing a lymph node. Thus you may be experiencing lymphedma. Lymphdema can result from injury to a lymph node or simply irritation to the node. This can cause a considerable amount of fluid to be retained. You may find that a warm, moist compress will speed your recovery process. This is when bicycle fit becomes essential. If you are needlessly compressing tissue, you are suffering needlessly.
Best of luck!
Questions - is the swelling under your "sit bones", or is it elsewhere on the inside of your thigh? Is it superficial, like a skin condition, or is more of a deep tissue thing? Are you riding a women's seat - that is, one designed for wider-spaced bones? Have you tried a flat vs. curved seat?
Finally, is it possible your seat is *too* wide? Some seats are marketed as being "comfortable", but only because they *look* comfortable. Something like a tractor seat or the types of seats you see on balloon-tire cruisers can cause problems like yours on a properly-fitted road-bike, because it does not allow your leg bones to move freely. If you have a road bike, you want a "racing" style seat. They're a lot more comfortable than they look. Extra gel pads and things like that can also restrict leg movement and cause problems.