Persistent genital arousal disorder
Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder (PGAD), originally called potent Sexual Arousal Syndrome (PSAS) and also known as Restless Genital Syndrome (ReGS or RGS), results in a spontaneous, persistent, and uncontrollable genital arousal in women, with or without orgasm or genital engorgement, unrelated to any feelings of sexual desire. It was first documented by Dr. Sandra Leiblum in 2001, only recently characterized as a distinct syndrome in medical literature with a comparable counterpart increasingly reported by men.
Some physicians use the term Persistent Sexual Arousal Syndrome to refer to the condition in women; others consider the syndrome of priapism in men to be the same disorder. Priapism is a recognized diagnosable medical condition by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV, whereas PGAD is not. The disorder will be included in DSM-5, expected to be released in May, 2013.
In particular, it is not related to hypersexuality, sometimes known as nymphomania or satyriasis. Hypersexuality, nymphomania, and satyriasis are also not recognized diagnosable medical conditions by the DSM-IV. In addition to being very rare, the condition is also frequently unreported by sufferers who may consider it shameful or embarrassing.
Physical arousal caused by this syndrome can be very intense and persist for extended periods, days or weeks at a time. Orgasm can sometimes provide temporary relief, but within hours the symptoms return. The return of symptoms, with the exception of known triggers, is sudden and unpredictable. Failure or refusal to relieve the symptoms often results in waves of spontaneous orgasms in women and ejaculation in men. The symptoms can be debilitating, preventing concentration on mundane tasks. Some situations, such as riding in an automobile or train, vibrations from mobile phones, and even going to the toilet can aggravate the syndrome unbearably causing the discomfort to verge on pain. It is not uncommon for sufferers to lose some or all sense of pleasure over the course of time as release becomes associated with relief from pain rather than the experience of pleasure. Some sufferers have said that they shun sexual relations, which they may find to be a painful experience. The condition may last for many years and can be so severe that it has been known to lead to depression and even suicide. 
Possible causes and treatment 
There is not enough known about persistent genital arousal disorder to definitively pinpoint a cause. Medical professionals think it is caused by an irregularity in sensory nerves, and note that the disorder has a tendency to strike post-menopausal women, or those who have undergone hormonal treatment.
Some drugs such as trazodone may cause priapism (which is recognized medical condition, unlike PGAD) as a side effect, in which case discontinuing the medication may give relief. Additionally, the condition can sometimes start only after the discontinuation of SSRIs. In some recorded cases, the syndrome was caused by or can cause a pelvic arterial-venous malformation with arterial branches to the penis or clitoris; surgical treatment was effective in this case.
In other situations where the cause is unknown or less easily treatable, the symptoms can sometimes be reduced by the use of antidepressants, antiandrogenic agents, and anaesthetising gels. Psychotherapy with cognitive reframing of the arousal as a healthy response may also be used.
More recently, the symptoms of the condition have also been linked with pudendal nerve entrapment. Regional nerve blocks and less common surgical intervention have demonstrated varying degrees of success in most cases. There is, however, no evidence for the long-term efficacy of surgical intervention.
See also 
- Restless Genital Syndrome
- "Persistent Sexual Arousal Syndrome Renamed As Restless Genital Syndrome". RxPG News: Sexual Medicine Channel. December 28, 2008.
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- Goldstein, Irwin (1 March 2004). "Persistent Sexual Arousal Syndrome". Boston University Medical Campus Institute for Sexual Medicine. Retrieved 2007-05-04.
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- Thompson, Michelle (2008-07-15). "PSAS Persistent Sexual Arousal Syndrome – One Big Climax". mymultiplesclerosis.co.uk. Retrieved 2009-06-20.
- Leiblum, Sandra (September/October 1999). "Sexual problems and dysfunction: epidemiology, classification and risk factors". Journal of Gender-Specific Medicine 2 (5): 41–45.
- Berczuk, Carol; Quinones, John (2008-02-21). "Medical Mystery: Persistent Sexual Arousal Syndrome". ABC 20/20. p. 2. Retrieved 2009-06-20.
- Persistent genital arousal disorder brings woman agony, not ecstasy, Tampa Bay Times, 30 Nov 2012. Retrieved Dec 2012.
- Tragedy as woman with debilitating sexual arousal disorder ... commits suicide, The Daily Mail, 4 Dec 2012. Retrieved Dec 2012.
- Waldinger (2008-12-17). "Persistent Imminent Orgasms in Women are Associated with Restless Legs". Science Daily (ScienceDaily LLC). Retrieved 2009-06-20.
- Finger, William W., Lund, Margaret and Slagel, Mark A. (Jan, 1997). "Medications that may contribute to sexual disorders: a guide to assessment and treatment in family practice". Journal of Family Practice 44 (1): 33–43.
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- Joanna B. Korda, MD et al. (2009-02-18). "Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder: A Case Report in a Woman with Lifelong PGAD Where Serendipitous Administration of Varenicline Tartrate Resulted in Symptomatic Improvement". Journal of Sexual Medicine 6 (5): 1479–1486.
- The patient from the preceding study was featured in a televised documentary, Strange Sex, aired on TLC 2010-01-27