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Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment

Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment

Persistent genital arousal disorder (PGAD) is often referred to as persistent sexual arousal syndrome (PSAS). It is a condition in which a woman may experience sudden orgasms without any sexual activity or erotic thoughts. Even though the orgasm may last for a few minutes, the symptoms may continue for a few days or weeks.

The frequent occurrence of the symptoms may cause depression and other medical conditions. Women of any age may face the condition. Women in their post-menopausal phase or those who have recently stopped taking antidepressants are more prone to having persistent sexual arousal syndrome.

Persistent sexual arousal syndrome is a condition that is common in women. However, men may also have the condition. The condition, when occurred in men, is called priapism. The condition occurs in men because of the irregular blood flow to the penis.

Men with priapism may experience an erection that lasts for several hours without any sexual activities. The symptoms may occur several times for a few days. The common cause of priapism in men includes frequent urinary tract infections and vasectomy procedures.

Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder: Symptoms

Individuals with persistent sexual arousal syndrome may experience frequent orgasms. Common symptoms of the condition include wetness, burning, and itching sensation in the genital area. The symptoms occur in the absence of sexual activity. The symptoms may occur frequently.

Other common symptoms of persistent sexual arousal syndrome include an abnormal increase in the blood pressure and heart rate, redness in the face, pain in the genital area, and an increase in breathing rate.

The frequent occurrence of orgasms may have an impact on daily activities and may even make it difficult to perform daily tasks. This may lead to the development of psychological conditions such as depression, frustration, and anxiety. It may even affect your sleep cycle.

The frequent occurrence of orgasms may even lead to women losing their interest in sexual activities.


The main cause of persistent sexual arousal disorder is not known. It is said that the condition can occur because of the irritation to the pudendal nerve. The nerve is said to provide the sensations to the genital area.

If you have any mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, etc., you may experience the symptoms of PGAD. However, it is still not clear why these conditions trigger the symptoms of PGAD.

persistent genital arousal disorder

Risk Factors

You are at a higher risk of getting persistent sexual arousal disorder if you have gynecological disorders and pudendal neuralgia. If you are someone who has recently discontinued taking anti-depressant medications, you may experience the symptoms of persistent sexual arousal syndrome.


If you experience any symptoms of persistent sexual arousal disorder, consult your doctor.

Inform your doctor about the symptoms you experience and the frequency of the symptoms. Your doctor may do a physical examination of your genital area. In some cases, if the doctor suspects a nerve injury, he/she may recommend doing neurological testing.

Your doctor may even ask you about the medical conditions you have and the medications and drugs you intake. This will help the doctor to understand if the symptoms of PGAD are triggered by any other medical conditions, medications, or supplements.


If you experience any symptoms of persistent genital arousal disorder, make sure you talk to your doctor. Proper diagnosis and timely treatment of the condition are important. Do not shy away from sharing your concerns with your doctor. The condition is common, and you must not feel embarrassed with it.

Persistent genital arousal disorder is not curable, but treatment may help to manage the symptoms. The treatment will not just help to manage the symptoms, but it will also help to improve the quality of life. It will also help to prevent emotional harm.

To treat persistent sexual arousal syndrome, your doctor may recommend medications and numbing gels. In some cases, your doctor may recommend transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) that will help to relieve pain in the nerves.

Mental health issues like depression or anxiety might also trigger symptoms of persistent sexual arousal syndrome. In such cases, it is important to treat your mental health condition first.

This will help to manage the symptoms of mental conditions as well as PGAD. To treat mental conditions, you may consider counseling or therapies. This will also help to boost your confidence. Counseling will also help to understand your emotional triggers.

You can even take the help of meditation or exercises to reduce the symptoms and calm your muscles.

Lifestyle Changes

  • Monitor your triggers. Maintain a journal and keep a track of all the things that trigger your symptoms of persistent sexual arousal disorder. Inform your doctor about your triggers.
  • You may even take the help of cognitive-behavioral therapy to manage your negative thoughts.
  • Look out for options that will help you to discover your emotional triggers. You may engage in yoga, meditation, and breathing exercises.

Home Remedies

  • If you experience frequent symptoms of the condition, ask your doctor about topical applications. This will help to relieve the symptoms.
  • You may even take the help of cold compression or ice to prevent the symptoms. All you need to do is apply ice or compress on the pelvic area. You may even consider taking a bath with cold water.
  • Avoid wearing tight clothes. Wear fabrics that are breathable and soft.
  • It is also believed that masturbation helps to reduce the symptoms. But this may not be helpful for every woman experiencing the condition. Masturbation might provide temporary relief, but it may not be effective for long-term relief.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder/https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4980903/Accessed on 27/05/2020

Diagnosis and Treatment of Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder/https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5811885/Accessed on 27/05/2020

Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder/https://www.pelvicpain.org.au/persistent-genital-arousal-disorder-2/Accessed on 27/05/2020

Persistent Sexual Arousal Syndrome/https://www.bumc.bu.edu/sexualmedicine/informationsessions/persistent-sexual-arousal-syndrome/Accessed on 27/05/2020

Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder: Characterization, Etiology, and Management/https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23157369/Accessed on 27/05/2020

Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder – A Case Report/https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28455899/Accessed on 27/05/2020

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Written by Nikita Bhalla Updated Oct 19
Fact Checked by Bianchi Mendoza, R.N.