Most of the sexual problems that affect women are about low sex drive and poor arousal. With Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder (PGAD), the problem is the exact opposite. There is a relentless feeling of being aroused even without the presence of conscious sexual desire or genital stimulation. The feelings of arousal do not end for hours, days or even months.
The Case of Gretchen Milannen
One well-known case is Gretchen Milannen who ended up taking her own life in December 2012. She was denied the disability payments that she needed in order to survive because she wasn’t able to keep a job. In an article written about her, she described the feeling that she had an itch in the genital area that she could never scratch. Thus, she was unable to focus on anything and the sensations became worse when she attempted to relieve herself. Even the smallest pleasurable feeling caused her to experience uncontrollable passion.
According to her, for no apparent reason, the affliction suddenly started and she couldn’t find any medical expert to validate that she had any condition. She desperately tried to find medical help but doctors just laughed at her and told her it was probably just something psychological.
The disorder was only recognised and validated sometime in 2001 so Gretchen spent several years trying to find a cure* on her own. She was even diagnosed with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome after several weeks of trying to treat* the swelling and pain. Also, she was not able to have any kind of romantic relationship since physical intimacy would cause her hours of torment.
Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder was initially called Persistent Sexual Arousal Syndrome. Experts define it as unwanted, intrusive and seemingly unprompted occurring arousal in the genital region or vasocongestion which arises in the absence of any kind of sexual trigger or clear desire/interest of the sexual nature and that it can persist for hours, days, weeks or much longer even with one or several orgasms.
Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder can affect all women including those who are old or young, single or married, homosexual or heterosexual, pre-menopausal peri-menopausal/postmenopausal.
It is still uncertain what causes Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder but there are many theories as to its main cause. Here are the most popular theories regarding what causes the sensations:
- Medications such as hormone replacement drugs and antidepressants
- Surgical procedures
- Activities that place prolonged pressure on the genitals like riding a bike
- Sexual excess or history of sexual abuse
- High levels of stress
- Psychological causes
- Neurological or vascular changes
Treating Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder
Most females who are suffering from PGAD suffer significantly and thus are susceptible to any kind of treatment that can offer some form of relief. Unfortunately, the many treatments deliberated by women who are suffering from the condition are not yet substantially proven. Also, one treatment doesn’t work for everyone so it really depends on a case to case basis.
One sensible approach when it comes to treating the disorder is focusing on self-management which involves a lot of trial and error. Anesthetizing agents can be used for numbing the genital area and relaxing the musculature of the pelvic floor. Some women say applying a cold compress can also deliver some form of relief.
Treatment Suggestions for PGAD
1. Support Groups
Women suffering from PGAD usually find some type of relief when they realize that there are others who suffer from this embarrassing and debilitating condition. Knowing you are not alone is a big deal in treating any kind of disorder. There are many support groups all over the world.
2. Special Massages
Pelvic massage along with stretching exercises can help relieve tension in the pelvic floor. It is advisable to consult a pelvic specialist who can help you in finding ways to relieve the condition.
There are medications that can be used to alleviate the uncomfortable feeling in the genital region. Mood stabilizers can also help. Consult a health care professional for the suitable medical advice.
4. Counselling or Sex Therapy
Cognitive behavioural interventions may help some women with Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder especially if it is related to psychological issues. It may include addressing certain pessimistic thoughts like those that are self-defeating. Cognitive behavioural interventions are usually effective but coping behaviours may also need to be enhanced* through techniques for reducing* anxiety.
For some women with PGAD, meditation techniques can help relieve the discomfort they are feeling. Yoga and other techniques can also be tried to check if they are effective.
There is not much information known about persistent genital arousal disorder to definitively pinpoint a valid cause. Researchers are still doing their research. It is very difficult to know how common PGAD is, because many women are too ashamed or embarrassed to seek medical help.
This article is originated from Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder: An Uncontrollable Genital Arousal