Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder (PGAD)

Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder (PGAD)

What is Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder?

Genitopelvic dysesthesia (GPD) is often known as Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder (PGAD) which is defined as excessive, unwanted physical arousal without a desire for sexual activity. This was first reported in peer-review medical literature by Leiblum and Nathan in 2001 and was initially called Persistent Sexual Arousal Syndrome (PSAS). The name was changed because patients complained that this condition was not about traditional sexual arousal. The symptoms most commonly found are unrelenting, unwanted, persistent, intrusive, and spontaneous sensations such as pressure/discomfort, engorgement, pulsating, pounding and/or throbbing in the genital tissues such as the clitoris, labia, vagina and/or in the perineum and/or anus in the absence of conscious thoughts of sexual desire or sexual interest. Women with GPD/PGAD may experience symptoms of physical arousal for hours or days at a time despite a complete lack of mental or emotional arousal. The physical symptoms of GPD/PGAD often leave women feeling uncomfortable or embarrassed and it is extremely distressing and can often be associated with suicidal thoughts.


What Causes PGAD?

It is unclear as to what causes GPD/PGAD but it is becoming more understood. Stress and anxiety about recurrences of the condition may make it worse. Your healthcare provider at The SHOW Center will work with you to discuss options for managing both the anxiety associated with GPD/PGAD as well as the physical symptoms as well as help with finding support groups helpful for their on-going management of the condition.

*This information does not replace a provider consultation. You should schedule an appointment with your provider if you experience any of these symptoms.