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Understanding Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder (PGAD)

Julian Carter


Home remedies for painful ejaculation

Individuals with Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder (PGAD) experience sexual arousal without any external sexual stimulation. 

An individual with PGAD can experience symptoms of sexual arousal, like genital enlargement or erections even without sexual activity or stimulation.

This condition can cause a continuous sensation of heightened pleasure. In some cases, the symptoms can persist for hours, days, or weeks, affecting daily life.

While PGAD is more common in women, it has also been reported in men. A related disorder in men is known as Priapism, which is characterized by prolonged and painful erections

This article will dive deep into the complexities of Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder (PGAD), including its symptoms, underlying reasons, and treatment possibilities.

Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder symptoms

A man with chest painSource: Rgstudio_from_Getty_Images
PGAD symptoms can include having shallow and rapid breathing

The symptoms of PGAD differ from person to person; however, they all include acute and continuous experiences of sexual arousal. 

Due to their persistent nature, these feelings can cause discomfort, suffering, and even embarrassment. 

Some other common PGAD symptoms include:

  • Face and neck becoming red or flushed
  • Abnormally high blood pressure
  • Abnormally high heart rate
  • Pain in your genital area, especially the clitoris or penis
  • Muscle spasms throughout the body
  • Shallow, rapid breathing
  • Blurred or spotty vision

Individuals with PGAD may also report feeling sexually frustrated, nervous, and distressed as they battle to regulate these unwanted sensations. 

If you notice any of the following symptoms, consult a doctor for the right treatment.

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    Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder causes

    Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder (PGAD) has numerous and often confusing origins. 

    While the exact causes are unknown, it is thought to result from a mix of physiological, neurological, and psychological factors. 

    Potential factors have been identified as hormonal imbalances, such as variations in estrogen and testosterone levels and nerve damage. 

    Additional research has indicated that Tarlov cysts could contribute to the emergence of this condition. 

    These cysts, containing cerebrospinal fluid, show up on the roots of the sacral nerve present in the penis. 

    These nerves, situated at the base of the spine, act as tube for neural signals from the brain to the bladder, colon, and genital area.

    According to a 2012 study, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) findings revealed that 66.7% of women displaying symptoms of PGAD also exhibited Tarlov cysts. 

    While this correlation may not explain all instances, certain cases suggest that PGAD might arise as a response to the presence of a Tarlov cyst. 

    Furthermore, psychological issues such as stress, worry, and previous traumas may increase the disorder’s effects. 

    The complicated interaction of these many variables highlights PGAD’s complicacy and the need for a precise treatment that addresses the issue.

    Tarlov Cyst: Tarlov Cysts are fluid-filled sacs that usually develop at the base of the spine. The cysts form in the roots of the nerves that emerge from the spinal cord.

    Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder treatment

    a man standing in front of his cycleSource: GoodLifeStudio_from_Getty_Images_Signature
    Exercising regularly has a positive effect on sexual health

    Treatment options for Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder depend on what causes it. 

    The key to effectively handling PGAD is effectively treating the root causes.

    Several therapy options, including psychological therapies and medication, can ease the causes of PGAD.

    Let’s look at some of the feasible PGAD therapy options

    Medical intervention: Medical therapies such as hormone therapy, nerve blockers, or antidepressant medicines may be recommended to assist in managing PGAD symptoms, depending on the underlying cause.

    Physical therapy: Pelvic floor physical therapy can relieve muscle tension and boost blood flow in the pelvic region, which may contribute to the arousal experience.

    If you are dealing with Erectile Dysfunction read our article: Erectile Dysfunction Exercises to Treat ED and learn about the benefits of pelvic floor exercises.

    Psychological support: Because PGAD can cause mental anguish and worry, receiving psychological assistance from therapists or counselors might be beneficial. Relaxation exercises and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy may assist people to manage the psychological effects of PGAD.

    Lifestyle modifications: Changing your lifestyle, such as stress management, frequent exercise, and eating a balanced diet, can improve general well-being and potentially ease some PGAD symptoms.

    Support groups: Joining up with support groups or online communities of people with similar experiences can give a secure area for people to share their stories, coping skills, and emotional support.

    Before taking any medication you must consult a doctor because your doctor can recommend you the best dosage according to your medical history.


    In conclusion, Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder (PGAD) presents a complex and often distressing challenge for those affected. 

    While the condition’s origins remain intricate and multifaceted, advancements in understanding its causes and treatments have emerged. 

    It is crucial to recognize the diversity in symptoms and their impact and address the interplay of physiological, neurological, and psychological factors. 

    Effective management requires tailored approaches, from medical interventions to psychological support and lifestyle adjustments. 

    With ongoing research and extensive therapy, PGAD sufferers can recover control over their lives and enhance their well-being and quality of life.

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    What is Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder (PGAD)?

    Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder is a medical disorder defined by sexual arousal sensations in the genital area that are unrelated to sexual desire or stimulus. It can cause distress and discomfort, interfering with daily life.

    Who does PGAD primarily affect?

    PGAD primarily affects women, while it has also been documented that it can affect men. The symptoms might vary greatly, and the impact on individuals can be profound.

    What are the common symptoms of PGAD?

    Persistent vaginal feelings such as swelling, engorgement, and spontaneous orgasms are PGAD symptoms. Other symptoms may include an accelerated heart rate, muscle spasms, and high blood pressure.

    What are the potential causes of PGAD?

    Although the exact origins of PGAD are unknown, variables such as hormone imbalances, nerve malfunction, certain medicines, and psychological stressors are thought to play a role. Some cases have also been connected to Tarlov cysts.

    How is PGAD diagnosed and treated?

    Gynecologists and urologists do medical exams to diagnose. Hormonal therapy, physical therapy, psychological support, and lifestyle changes may be used to treat PGAD. Each treatment strategy addresses causes and relieves symptoms.

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