Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder (PGAD) is a sexual arousal disorder that is exclusively experienced by females and it is characterized by spontaneous, unprovoked and unwanted sexual arousals/orgasms.
Orgasm is a peak of sexual excitement characterized by an intense feeling of excitement centred on the genitalia and in men accompanied by ejaculation, culminating in the relief of accumulated erotic tension.
Females experiencing these feelings often do so spontaneously and without provocation – no stimulation whatsoever and without desire.
These feelings can be disabling for sufferers. It may constitute a serious mental health strain on victims and could have negative impacts on their relationships.
A new study, published in PAIN Reports, has now found that PGAD is a neurological and not psychiatric disorder. The study found that a greater percentage of the patients had neurological problems: “In 90% of patients, diagnostic testing identified anatomically appropriate and plausibly causal neurological lesions,” the authors noted.
The researchers also discovered that PGAD is caused by altered firing by nerves that carry sensation from the external genitalia or damage to the lower part of the spinal cord.
It is worthy of note that the nerves that supply the external sex organs in both males and females take their roots from the lower part of the spinal cord.
Furthermore, the study also discovered that many patients suffering from PGAD benefited from neurological treatments.
The study used 10 patients whose symptoms began between 11 to 70 years. Most of those studied – 80% – reported daily out-of-context sexual arousals, as many as 30 per day, that usually included orgasms.
Although the study was done among a small group of people, it provided valuable insights into why PGAD happens and offers patients and carers a better understanding of the management of the disorder.
Source: Anne Louise Oaklander et al, Persistent genital arousal disorder, PAIN Reports (2020). DOI: 10.1097/PR9.0000000000000801