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What it is and what it isn't

What it is

Persistent Sexual Arousal Syndrome (PSAS), Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder (PGAD) and Restless Genital Syndrome (ReGS) are one and the same condition. The condition is characterized by involuntary, highly unwanted, unrelenting, intrusive and persistent (24/7) genital sensations. These sensations are unrelated to subjective feelings of sexual arousal and sexual desire. In some cases accompanied by pain and in almost all cases accompanied by constantly feeling the need or urge to urinate. The symptoms are often described as tingling, itching, throbbing, burning, orgasmic wave-like, sense of fullness (congestion), electrical, rhythmical contractions and constantly give the feeling of being on the verge of orgasm. This physical genital arousal does not go away following one or more orgasms. In most cases the symptoms just get worse. The need to release in order to get rid of the dominant sensations remains. The symptoms only fluctuate in intensity, but are always present.

The genital area is hypersensitive for increases in intensity. Especially sitting down is experienced as a trigger (main trigger). But also intolerance for wearing tight pants, sensitivity to touch, bending down, lifting, walking, biking, lying down in a specific position and sexual activity, are mentioned being the cause for an increase in intensity. Driving a car, traveling by public transport and even vibrations of low frequency sounds, can increase the intensity of symptoms. So can stress and irritation. Continuous and excessive vaginal lubrication is often present, but not in all cases.

The condition is, in most cases and to some extend, progressive. In the beginning (approx. the first 6 months) symptom free periods, lasting from a few days to a few weeks, are reported. In the phase following, there generally are no symptom free periods any more. An exception on this (so far) is a group of women who had similar symptoms during pregnancy or during a brief period after delivery. After which the symptoms have completely disappeared, to reappear in a later period (often around menopause). Pain symptoms generally develop later. Not every woman develops pain. In most cases the clinical picture stabilizes within one year after onset.

See here the (preliminary)   5 diagnostic criteria

What it isn't







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PGAD/ReGS is not "all in the head"! It's between the legs!

Dutch scientific research, which started in 2004, resulted in the identification of the cause of the condition in 2009. The study showed that PGAD/ReGS is caused by a (sensory) neuropathy of the Nervus Dorsalis Clitoridis (in men the Nervus Dorsalis Penis). In 2010 the first study results of PGAD in men came available. Both studies were published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine.

In the section  Sources/Articles you can (among others) download these articles.

Although to date (May 2011) there hasn't been done research into the possible involvement of other nerves, there is a strong suspicion that more branches of the Nervus Pudendus are involved. It is strongly suspected as well, that PGAD is not just an isolated condition. Women with PGAD have many other physical symptoms in common.

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