Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder (PGAD) occurs when women have ongoing feelings of genital arousal that are not associated with sexual feelings or activity. Women with PGAD don’t want to have sex when they’re aroused this way, but their genitals respond as if they do.
Here are some common symptoms of PGAD:
• a tingling feeling in the clitoris
• genital irritation, throbbing, pressure, or pain
• vaginal contractions
• increased blood flow to the vaginal walls (vaginal congestion)
• spontaneous orgasms
For some women, the symptoms may last for a few hours at a time. For others, it can last days or even longer.
Several aspects of PGAD make it different from sexual arousal.
• It occurs even when there is no sexual interest.
• Orgasm may relieve symptoms for a little while, but it does not make them go away completely.
• The symptoms are unwanted and cause the woman distress.
It’s unclear how many women have PGAD. Many feel embarrassed about their situation and don’t discuss it with their doctors. It’s not uncommon for women with PGAD to also feel anxious and depressed.