What Is Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder (PGAD)?

Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder, also known as PGAD or Restless Genital Syndrome or Persistent Genital Arousal Syndrome, is a condition characterized by unrelenting, spontaneous and uncontainable genital arousal in females. The condition may or may not include arousal with orgasm and/or genital engorgement. The patient's arousal is not linked to sexual desire.
PGAD has only recently been classed in medical literature as a distinct syndrome. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV does not recognize PGAD as a diagnosable medical condition. There are a growing number of reports describing a similar condition in males.
Some doctors class priapism in men as a type of Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder. Priapism is a persistent penile erection without sexual desire. Put simply, the male has an erection that does not go away. Treatments for priapism include drugs, drainage of blood from the penis, or anesthesia. Unlike PGAD, priapism is recognized as a diagnosable medical condition in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV.
Persistent genital arousal disorder is not associated with hypersexuality, otherwise known as satyriasis in males or nymphomania in females.
It is very difficult to know how common PGAD is, because many sufferers may be too ashamed or embarrassed to seek medical help.
A sufferer of PGAD may experience episodes of intense arousal (without sexual desire) several times a day for weeks and even months. Climaxing (reaching orgasm) may alleviate symptoms for a while. However, in many cases the symptoms come back within a few hours. Symptoms come back suddenly and without warning - the patient cannot usually identify the triggers and avoid them.
If symptoms are ignored and not acted upon, the patient may experience waves of spontaneous orgasms. It is said to be a debilitating condition which can leave people unable to focus on everyday tasks.
There are some known triggers which can bring on symptoms, such as vibrations from a cellphone, or riding in a car, bus or train. Some people find that going to the toilet results in such severe arousal as to be painful.
Chronic (long-term) sufferers of persistent genital arousal disorder may eventually lose their sense of pleasure with all things sexual, because release from symptoms, which is achieved by having an orgasm, becomes associated with relief from pain rather than something to enjoy.
Prof. Sandra R. Leiblum
Prof. Sandra R. Leiblum (1943-2010), an American author, lecturer, and researcher in sexology, changed the name from Persistent Sexual Arousal Syndrome (PSAS) to Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder (PGAD), because it was felt the former term had an incorrect sexual connotation.

Sandra Leiblum was a Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at The University of Medicine and Dentistry's Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.
Prof. Leiblum listed 5 criteria for a diagnosis of PGAD. Today they are considered as the only valid criteria. PGAD advocates say they need to be extended. The 5 criteria are:

  • Involuntary genital and clitoral arousal that continues for an extended period (hours, days, months).
  • No cause for the persistent genital arousal can be identified.
  • The genital arousal is not associated with feelings of sexual desire.
  • The persistent sensations of genital arousal feel intrusive and unwanted.
  • After one or more orgasms, the physical genital arousal does not go away.

The Royal Society of Medicine publishes an article on Persistent Sexual Arousal Syndrome
The Royal Society of Medicine (RSM), in the United Kingdom, mentioned PSAS (Persistent Sexual Arousal Syndrome) in March 2006. It described the condition as "relatively constant, unrelieved feelings of genital arousal in the absence of genuine sexual interest or desire". The Society added that until then, when David Goldmeier and Prof. Sandra Leiblum published an article in an RSM publication, the condition had been unrecognized in the UK.
Dr Goldmeier said:

"This genital arousal is highly distressing as it is unprovoked and unrelieved by orgasm."

Dr Goldmeier and Prof. Leiblum said it was unclear what the causes might be. They had tentatively suggested there may be a link to antidepressant usage.
Dr. Goldmeier said the women he had talked to with PGAD reported a high degree of distress; some of them had suicidal thoughts. According to an internet survey he had carried out, the condition can affect females from a wide range of backgrounds and age groups.
It is important for women with PGAD not to feel marginalized, and to seek medical help, Goldmeier emphasized.
Journal of Sexual Medicine publishes a report on PGAD
In 2005, Prof. Sandra Leiblum published a report on Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder in the Journal of Sexual Medicine. In it she explained the symptoms of the disorder, as well as the likely psychological conditions patients may develop because of the distress PGAD causes. Women with PGAD frequently experience anxiety, panic attacks and depression. Sufferers commonly report feelings of distress, frustration and guilt.
In the study, Leiblum found that most PGAD sufferers also had pre-existing stress-related illnesses. However, she stressed that "PGAD is most certainly not all in the mind."
In an Accompanying Comment in the same journal, the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Sexual Medicine, Irwin Goldstein wrote:

"Women of all ages, ranging from teens to menopause, currently suffer from this obtrusive sexual problem. More research efforts to better understand and treat this unusual under-inhibited sexual condition are strongly needed."

PGAD linked to the presence of Tarlov cysts
A study carried out by Barry R. Komisaruk, PhD and Huey-Jen Lee, from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, suggested that Tarlov cysts may be linked to PGAD.
In their study, they concluded:

"Tarlov cysts have been described in the literature as producing paresthesias and genital sensory disturbances. Hence, at least some cases of PGAD might be considered to be a Tarlov cyst-induced paresthesia. Based on the relatively high occurrence of Tarlov cysts currently observed in women who suffer from PGAD symptoms, it would seem advisable to suspect Tarlov cysts as a possible organic etiological factor underlying PGAD."

Tarlov cysts (perineural cysts) are abnormal sacs filled with cerebrospinal fluid which form at the lower end of the spine (sacrum), at the S1-to-S4 region of the spinal cord.
In August 2012, The Daily Mail, a UK newspaper, published an article about Kim Ramsey whose PGAD causes her to have 100 orgasms each day. She said the slightest pelvic movement, which can occur on a train or when she is doing housework can trigger an orgasm. She describes herself as exhausted, in a lot of pain, and unable to have a normal relationship. Her doctors think her condition was caused when she fell down the stairs in 2001.
Written by Christian Nordqvist
References:
Sources: The Health Science archives, The Daily Mail, www.psas.nl/en/, Wikipedia

Glad there are forums for this! I've experienced this since about 5 years old. However, in my case it is painless. It began happening during/after urination, and I just got used to it. As an adult, it can happen an time of day. The episodes are very quick, and I didn't know this was abnormal until someone I know developed the painful version. I began researching for her, and put it all together. I've heard there are only a handful of doctors who know much about this. Hope more research is being done. My symptoms worsened after being on Prozac for a short time. I wonder what the connection is?

PGAD And New Medication?for the last two weeks I have been feeling like I need to masturbate constantly. I wake up feeling that tingly achy sensation, and its on ALL day long. At work, its hard to concentrate on anything else. I masturbate, and i feel relieved for maybe all of 10 minutes... then I feel that tingly achy sensation all over again as though I never had the orgasm to begin with. And for some reason, its harder to reach orgasm, I'll be trying to relieve it, and its like I'm at the peak where I can stay for hours before I finally have the orgasm. I am tired yet I can't sleep bc I am so aroused. I don't know why its suddenly turned on like this. I am on a new medication but I've been on it for 5 months now, why would it suddenly start now? I don't know what to do, whether I should talk to my psychiatrist? Its not painful like a lot of the others on here say, its just distracting and irritating to feel like I gotta "relieve" the "tension" all the time. I'm in a monogamous long distance relationship where I love and adore my boyfriend... but I'm afraid I might choose to be unfaithful with this need to relieve myself all the time.. I don't want to be promiscuous... I don't understand why this is happening to me...

I did find something funny in this hellThe dating advert of the women sitting on the bed to the left isn't very sensitive to pgad, plus people have made the mistake of thinking sex cures this condition it doesn't as these posts have shown.

Nite tremorsI first heard of this condition on you tube about the woman who has constant orgasms all day. I went to a pgad site and read how my antidepressants could be the cause of my own uncontrollable night orgasms that's caused me to not want to sleep in the bed with my partner due to his always assuming I was hot for him and wanted sex all nite long, ugh what a chore that would become. I don't even like sex much anymore and when I do indulge "him" I can't achieve the orgasm I desire. Then, once I'm asleep they cum rolling in four to six times a night. I wake up grinding and sweating like I'm a bull rider. I guess I could release my tension with toys but then my partner gets this pathetic " what's wrong with me " attitude.
When I try taking care of myself alone I get right there and nothing but frustration and sensitivity then pain. I know it's got to be the meds cause when I run out for a few days I'm triggered by the slightest vibrations. I'm now in my 40s and I guess I assumed cause I was soooo sexually active as a teen and 20s that maybe I was just a nympho? But that would mean I actually liked sex with a partner.

Where did this come from? PGADHello, I'm 18 and have only started feeling this for the last 3 (almost 4) days now, everything I've read points to this.
It's like an aerosol/ need to pee feeling, and then when I do try to use the bathroom the sensation is almost too much to bear. All i know is I want it gone and I'm terrified that I'm going to have it the rest of my life.
Nowhere have I read that it has simple just past by, everyone has always had it for years/ their whole lives. I could not live with that, 4 days is hell enough. I'm also going to see my doc soon but I'm worried they're going to think I'm crazy due to it being so new....is there any home methods to stop this?

I have the male version of itIt's mental cancer, it slowly destroys you, even if I felt normal my mind is gone

PGAD - helpI am so happy I finally found this site. I started experiencing issues while I was tapering off Cymbalta, and now I have been off from it for 7 days. I have had more orgasms in the last 2 weeks than I have had in the last two years.
The other night I was awoken at 7am and needed to masturbate, 4 orgasms. Went back to sleep, awoken at 8am - 3 orgasms and awoken at 11a with 5 orgasms. I was afraid to tell anybody including my wife. (same sex marriage) I feel like I am going crazy. I am not aroused, no sexual desire and at times is painful. All I have to do is touch myself when awoken and it is all over.
I also am embarrassed to say it is a lot of liquid that comes out. I could have easily filled a two liters.
I am embarrassed, and although this has only happened at night, I am afraid to go into public. I am 39 years old. I do not know how much I can take. I too would be willing to talk with someone for research.

try matrix patches for PGADmatrix patches are for pain from the doctor. They help persistent genital arousal. The doctor gave me these patches for my fibomylgia when my pain in my back gets so bad .Then PGAD goes away,

PGAD. In ChildhoodI'm glad someone has finally mentioned this very sensitive aspect of this condition! I too have suffered from this condition since long before puberty?

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