Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder (PGAD) is an extremely unwanted type of sexual dysfunction that causes excessive, unrelentless genital arousal and engorgement in a non-sexual setting. It can result in orgasms without sexual stimulation and the persistent genital arousal usually does not resolve with orgasm. PGAD is not related to hypersexuality, or nymphomania; it is nothing to joke about and many women feel suicidal. It is a serious condition that is poorly understood and unrecognized by most healthcare professionals. The persistent arousal affects one’s quality of life and it can range from cyclic episodes to occurring multiple times every day. The prevalence ranges from 0.5% to 6.7% and it is more common in women than men. Stress seems to universally worsen PGAD symptoms.

Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder (PGAD) is a serious medical condition and requires prompt treatment from an expert in sexual medicine because it can be very disruptive to normal life and often leads to suicidal thoughts. We are here to help you.


  • Persistent, intrusive, unwanted physical arousal
  • Throbbing, pulsating, or pressure along the genitals (clitoris, labia, vagina)
  • Occurs involuntary without any sexual stimulus
  • Orgasm does not relieve the symptoms


The exact cause of PGAD in not known, but is possibly related to the following conditions:

  • Vascular condition
    1. Pelvic congestion syndrome
    2. Arterial vascular causes due to pelvic arterio-venous malformations
  • Neurologic disorder
    1. Peripheral causes: pudendal nerve entrapment or hypersensitivity
    2. Central causes: Tourette’s Syndrome, epilepsy, post-blunt CNS trauma, post-surgical intervention of an arterio-venous malformation, or post cervical and lumbosacral surgical interventions
    3. Sensorimotor disorder: Restless Leg Syndrome
  • Hormones
    1. Excessive use of herbal estrogen products
    2. Initiation or discontinuation of hormone replacement therapy (HRT)
  • Medications
    1. Trazodone
    2. Effexor (venlafaxine)
    3. Sudden withdrawal of a selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant
  • Radiculopathy due to Tarlov cyst, Facet cyst or annular tear in the sacral spinal nerve roots (diagnosed by MRI)
  • Idiopathic meaning the cause is unknown