Persistent genital arousal disorder

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Permanent Sexual Arousal Syndrome or Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder is a very rare clinical condition associated with women's sexual health and mostly occurring in females. The main complain of this syndrome is frequent and abrupt feelings of sexual arousal qualitatively and quantitatively different from the normal sexual act. The counterpart of this syndrome in males has also been reported by few practicing physicians recently. This condition in males is known as Priapism.


What permanent sexual syndrome actually is?

Permanent sexual arousal syndrome is defined as uncontrollable, permanent, persistent and natural stimulation of genitalia especially in females. It may or may not be associated with sexual feelings, emotions, orgasm or engorgement of genitals.

What are the different names of permanent sexual arousal syndrome?

This syndrome is known all over the world with different names like;

u Restless genital syndrome

u Persistent genital arousal syndrome

u Persistent sexual arousal syndrome

When permanent sexual arousal syndrome was first diagnosed?

Going through the literature one can find a multitude females who have been suffering from this syndrome, yet they were not diagnosed or they used to be considered as psychiatric patients. Recently in 2001, Sandra Leiblum (American lecturer, author and researcher in sexology) documented that all the symptoms occurring in this condition could be named as Permanent sexual arousal syndrome. Here co worker was Dr. Sharon G. Nathan and this article was published in Sex and Marital Therapy Journal.

What other studies were conducted in order to confirm this syndrome as a recognized clinical disorder?

Another study was conducted by the workers of Rutgers University in the mid of 2007. In this study women suffering from this imaginary syndrome were enrolled from all over the world. Women suffering from this syndrome had a sigh of relief on the news of this study. More than four hundred women all over the world were reported to be suffering from this syndrome. Mostly the women were from Japan.

Why this syndrome remains under diagnosed?

The main cause of this syndrome remaining under diagnosed is the embarrassment going to be faced by the women after disclosing their condition. Studies have proved that mostly the women reported from this syndrome are from developed countries. Still there is not a single case from developing or under developed countries. It is because this condition will be considered a stigma for women hailing from conservative societies.

What are the possible causes of this syndrome?

Here are few possible causes;

u Sensory nerve irregularities

u Post menopausal women

u Post hormonal treatment

u Trazodone ( a psychiatric drug can cause priapism, sexual arousal in men)

u Withdrawal from selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)

u Pelvic arterio-venous malformation in the arterial branches of penis or clitoris

What are the situations that can trigger this syndrome?

These situations are;

u Using toilet

u Travelling on a train or car

u Vibration from certain devices like mobile phones etc

Which age group is commonly affected?

It can affect any age group.

How it can be treated?

Here are few treatment options like;

u Antidepressants like MAOIs, SSRIs, TCAs

u Antiandrogens

u Anesthetiseng gels

u Psychotherapy with cognitive behavioral therapy

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    Author: Dr Ahmad

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