Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder Male

When it comes to sexual arousal, most of us want more. But what if this arousal persists, even after orgasms? This is what people with persistent genital arousal disorder (PGAD) experience.

PGAD causes unwanted, involuntary genital arousal that’s unrelated to subjective feelings of sexual desire. It can cause genital pain and discomfort.

Symptoms

If you have PGAD, you have unwanted, unprovoked feelings of arousal in your genitals or vagina. These feelings may last for hours, days or even weeks at a time. They may be triggered by sexual or nonsexual triggers, but they also can happen for no apparent reason. In fact, PGAD symptoms can be so intense that they interfere with your daily life.

You might have pain, throbbing, tingling or a feeling of fullness in your vulva that feels like it is about to explode. These sensations are different from arousal you might feel for a romantic partner. These arousal sensations do not lead to orgasms, and they are not relieved by sexual activity.

Women with PGAD often say they feel like they are always on the verge of an orgasm that never happens. This can be extremely distressing, especially when it interferes with everyday activities.

While researchers do not know what causes PGAD, they think that a combination of factors plays a role. These factors may include neurological, vascular and pharmacological issues. Neurological problems may include epilepsy and post-surgery complications, while vascular issues such as pudendal neuralgia or varicose veins in the pelvis are also possible culprits. Medications such as antidepressants and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors have been linked to PGAD.

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Whether you have a medical or mental health condition, it is important to get treatment for PGAD. Your doctor will take a history of your symptoms and do physical exams. They might also give you a special test that measures blood flow to your vulva before and after you’re aroused.

Diagnosis

It is important to note that PGAD does not always have an identifiable medical cause. Therefore, it is important to rule out any underlying medical issues before considering treatment for psychological factors associated with the condition. Initially, the best option is to discuss symptoms with a primary care provider who can suggest strategies for managing symptom severity and connect you with a specialist, like a sex therapist.

PGAD is a difficult and distressing condition to live with. Women who suffer from the disorder describe unwanted, intrusive, and spontaneous genital sensations that are not related to sexual desire. These sensations are persistent, unrelenting, and often last for hours or days at a time. They can occur during daily activities and cause significant distress, shame, and embarrassment. They also interfere with sleep, work, and social interactions.

Symptoms of PGAD can be triggered by anything from a bumpy car ride to inserting a tampon. These physical sensations can be incredibly painful and are unpredictable, making it challenging for people with PGAD to function optimally. Having to constantly prepare for a possible public flare-up can be exhausting, and it can lead to feelings of helplessness.

PGAD can be caused by neurological, vascular, pharmacological and psychogenic factors. Therefore, treatment is on a case-by-case basis and often involves multiple treatment interventions. For example, a woman with PGAD may benefit from pelvic floor physical therapy with biofeedback and mindfulness-based cognitive behavioral therapy. She may also benefit from a low dose of an antidepressant.

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Treatment

PGAD is rare, but it can be distressing for those who experience it. The symptoms can interfere with your daily life and affect your self-esteem. The good news is that it’s treatable.

Persistent genital arousal disorder occurs when you feel unwanted sexual arousal in the clitoris, vulva, nipples or anus for hours or days without any sexual stimulation. You may also feel pain or discomfort in these areas. These sensations are not relieved by orgasm. In addition, you may not be able to control these feelings. It is similar to hypersexuality, but unlike other arousal disorders, PGAD does not improve with orgasm or arousal.

Researchers don’t know what causes PGAD, but it is believed to be related to blood flow and pressure in the pelvis and nerves. Symptoms may be triggered by sexual, nonsexual or no trigger at all. The condition is different from erections that last four or more hours and are known as priapism. PGAD can happen to women and people assigned female at birth (AFAB) as well as men and people assigned male at birth (AMAB).

There are a number of treatment options available for PGAD, including medications, psychotherapy and physical therapy. However, these treatments are still being tested on a case-by-case basis. Currently, some of the most successful strategies include medication, distraction techniques and pelvic floor muscle training.

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Prevention

PGAD is not preventable, but there are a variety of treatments and coping strategies that can help manage symptoms. Patients can discuss these with their healthcare provider who may recommend a visit to a specialist, like a sex therapist.

The causes of PGAD are not fully understood, but it is believed that it has a strong psychological component. It is similar to a panic attack and can be associated with other mental health disorders, such as bipolar disorder (bipolar I) or major depressive disorder. The disorder is also characterized by pain and discomfort in the pelvic area.

While PGAD is different from hypersexuality and an elevated desire for sexual gratification, it can be distressing to sufferers and may lead to relationship difficulties. It can also lead to a loss of the perception of pleasure, as genital arousal is now associated with pain rather than relief from this pain.

The first step in preventing the disorder is seeking treatment when it begins to manifest. People who suffer from PGAD can find relief with a variety of methods, but self-stimulation to orgasm does not work long-term. Pelvic floor physical therapy with biofeedback has been shown to be effective, and a high dose of a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) can improve symptoms in some cases. Patients should always speak to their doctor before trying any medication.

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