Persistent Gonadal 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. Persistent genital arousal disorder is not associated with hyper sexuality.

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, hence cannot avoid them.

If symptoms are ignored and not acted upon, the patient may experience waves of spontaneous orgasms. It is a debilitating condition which can leave a person 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. 

There Are 5 criteria for a Diagnosis of PGAD.

  • 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.


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