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Keywords:

  • Genital Arousal;
  • Disorder;
  • Female

ABSTRACT

Introduction.  Persistent genital arousal disorder (PGAD) is a potentially debilitating disorder of unwanted genital sensation and arousal that is generally spontaneous and unrelenting. Since its first description in 2001, many potential etiologies and management strategies have been suggested.

Aim.  To review the literature on PGAD, identify possible causes of the disorder, and provide approaches to the assessment and treatment of the disorder based on the authors' experience and recent literature.

Methods.  PubMed searches through July 2012 were conducted to identify articles relevant to persistent sexual arousal syndrome and PGAD.

Main Outcome Measures.  Expert opinion was based on review of the medical literature related to this subject matter.

Results.  PGAD is characterized by persistent sensations of genital arousal in the absence of sexual stimulation or emotion, which are considered unwanted and cause the patient at least moderate distress. The proposed etiologies of PGAD are plentiful and may involve a range of psychologic, pharmacologic, neurologic, and vascular causes. PGAD has been associated with other conditions including overactive bladder and restless leg syndrome. Assessment should include a through history and physical exam and tailored radiologic studies. Treatment should be aimed at reversible causes, whether physiologic or pharmacologic. All patients should be considered for cognitive therapy including mindfullness meditation and acceptance therapy.

Conclusions.  PGAD likely represents a range of conditions manifesting in unwanted genital sensations. Successful treatment requires a multidisciplinary approach and consideration of all reversible causes as well as cognitive therapy. Facelle TM, Sadeghi-Nejad H, and Goldmeier D. Persistent genital arousal disorder: Characterization, etiology, and management. J Sex Med **;**:**–**.