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Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder: What Is It?

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According to the Medical Center for Female Sexuality, persistent genital arousal disorder (PGAD), also known as persistent sexual arousal syndrome, is a condition occurring in some women where they have a constant feeling of being sexually aroused and are unable to release it.

ABC News reported sufferers are constantly on the edge of orgasm regardless of time, place or circumstance. While this may sound desirable or funny, it’s actually a nightmarish reality where a woman's body acts independently of her own desires.

Dr. Irwin Goldstein, head of the Sexual Health Program at San Diego’s Alvarado Hospital told ABC News, "it's spontaneous, intrusive, and unwanted genital arousal — consisting of throbbing, pulsing or tingling without the person's sexual interest or desire."

The condition gained notoriety when it was featured on "Grey’s Anatomy."

Psychology Today said, with PGAD, a woman's genitals are physically aroused for hours, days, weeks or longer.

Symptoms, said MSNBC, involve a feeling of "fullness" — a constant engorgement — of the genitals. Yet, said the Medical Center for Female Sexuality, this unwanted genital arousal is unrelated to any erotic thoughts or any feelings of sexual interest or desire. said arousal doesn’t go away with orgasm and may require multiple orgasms over hours or days to remit. For many sufferers, that could mean hours of masturbation and no relief. Fox News added, Dr. Sandra Leiblum, a sex therapist, said in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, sexual activities intended to relieve the symptoms can reinforce the sensations or provide only temporary relief.

The Medical Center for Female Sexuality said PGAD can be terribly debilitating and is often accompanied by depression or feelings of distress.

Dr. Goldstein told ABC News, he thinks thousands of women may suffer from PGAD, but the actual number is unknown because so few seek medical help and most doctors don’t know about it. said women who complain of persistent genital arousal disorder may be young or old, premenopausal or using postmenopausal hormone replacement therapy, married or single.

ABC News reported PGAD is not due to raging hormones. In fact, it isn't at all sexual in nature. Nobody really knows what causes this ailment, or what sets off these sensations.

FoxNews said that a survey of women with the condition described numerous personal triggers including Caesarean sections, menopause, injury to the pelvis and emotional stress.

Theories, FoxNews continued, range from brain lesion anomalies to pelvic nerve hypersensitivity or pelvic congestion to mechanical pressure against genital structures.

The Medical Center for Female Sexuality lists treatment of PGAD to include antidepressants, anti-androgenic agents, anaesthetizing gels and psychotherapy.

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