Have you heard of persistent genital arousal disorder? Or maybe you’ve heard that rare medical condition that makes a woman climax without any sexual stimulation?  Well, the human body is a wonder after all. When it comes to female sexuality, there is always a cloud of sentiment hovering around like a hot air balloon.

That being said, a lot of women with sexual needs or disorders suffer in silence. They are always wary about speaking up or seeking professional help probably due to the fear of being stigmatized or called a name like a nymphomaniac.

As a construct, female orgasm is not openly discussed even among women, especially in Africa. Consequently, this sexual spectacle is still a mystery to both men and females.

To some women, it’s obviously the definitive goal of sex. Yet, some men do not really care about female orgasm since it’s not needed for making babies. Still, ‘many women don’t experience an orgasm during sexual intercourse at all.

Persistent genital arousal disorder

According to Dr. Yella Hewlings Martins ‘some ladies maybe until their 20s or even 30s, and the number of womenfolk who say that they always or nearly always have one during sex is declining’.[1]

However, every woman has a yardstick for measuring their level of sexual gratification. A lot of people think that a person’s bodily desire for sex arouses sexual actions, which leads to sexual stimulation and eventually orgasm.

Even if this may be true for some men, it’s automatically not true for most ladies. A lot of women have various reasons and stimuli that make them feel aroused and desire sex. Invariably, they have a switch for their sexuality.

 On the contrary, women with a rare medical condition known as persistent genital arousal disorder (PGDA) would wish they have control over their orgasm.

That brings us to the next mystifying question.


Persistent genital arousal disorder

According to Carolyn Twersky, “It’s like the burst you feel when you get a text from your crush… but in your vagina.” she went ahead to describe it as ‘a physical reflex, brought on through sexual stimulation, most commonly that of the clitoris, which is the most sensitive organ in women’ [7]. The keyword to note in that definition is ‘sexual stimulation’, a persistent genital arousal disorder patient doesn’t require all that fancy and such luxury to activate, any trigger from the environment would do.

According to an Indian news and entertainment website article published in 2017, ‘Women can orgasm over 20 times in a row. Ladies, if you stop at two, three or even four orgasms while having sex, then it’s the time to realize your real potential. Puzzled? Well, according to a study, seven out of ten women can climax as many as 20 times in a single session’.[8]

Similarly, Stephen Matthews who writes for Mailonline  believed  ‘’7 in 10 women can climax more than once during sex and some hit the big ‘O’ 20 times in a session. Seven in 10 women are able to climax numerous times with their partner’’ [9]. Clinicians actually used to think that multiple orgasms were rare. But a new investigation proves the opposite.

The ‘wow factor’ in this discovery remains the fact that these women set themselves up for their sexual climax and probably enjoyed the experience to repeat it over and over again. The same cannot be said of a person who has persistent genital arousal disorder.



Psycho sexually, this elusive phenomenon is poorly understood by most patients and even some medical practitioners. According to Brooke M. Faught, who is a Fellow of the International Society for the Study of Women’s Sexual Health, ‘‘persistent genital arousal disorder (PGAD) involves unwanted, unwarranted, persistent symptoms of genital arousal that frequently border on pain.’’[3]

Most health care providers take Pain as a subjective data since the patient is expressing what their pain is, leaving the nurse or doctor thinking about the pain scale and whether it’s objective because another person can walk into the room and ask the patient to rate their pain and get similar response, thus repeatable and calculable.

Diagnosing this phenomenon, thus, depends on your doctor’s ability to solve a pain puzzle, so, if the physician doesn’t understand what he’s treating, I’ll leave it there for you to ponder the rejoinder. Another name for this condition is Persistent Sexual Arousal Syndrome.

 According to Manju Aswath et al, ‘Persistent genital arousal disorder (PGAD) is a phenomenon, in which afflicted women experience spontaneous genital arousal, unresolved by orgasms and triggered by sexual or nonsexual stimuli, eliciting stress’.[2] 


Persistent genital arousal disorder

Firstly, female orgasm time and again paints a picture of being the highest point of a woman’s sexual satisfaction.

This type of satisfaction should be controlled if not regulated. Can you imagine what life could be like for you not having controls over your climax? If this happens to you, you’ll be sexually aroused without anything sexual or stimulation going on. You’ll not need any reason to feel sexually stirred up. All this happens with normal symptoms of sexual arousals, such as an erection of the clitoris or swelling of the vagina and vaginal lips, as well as other parts of your body, including your nipples.’

Other symptoms may include but not limited to;

  • unusually high heart rate
  • unusually high blood pressure
  • soreness in your genital area, especially the clitoris or penis shaft
  • muscle spasms all over the body
  • low, rapid breathing
  • face and neck becoming red or flushed
  • blurry or spotty vision


Persistent genital arousal disorder

This intrusive physiologic arousal can loiter for hours or even days at a time. According to Jackowich et al., ‘in some patients it can occur constantly. The unrelenting nature of the symptoms predisposes them to become depressed and even suicidal’. 

Persistent genital arousal disorder typically does not go away after the person has an orgasm. The symptoms of PGAD are usually described as distressing, intrusive, and unwanted’. THE SUN a Uk news publication once published a headliner that sounded like a porn movie title ‘Nurse has 100 orgasms a day’. The 49 years old British lady was said to climax every 30 seconds.

Bestowing to popular belief, women with this disorder are often times branded as nymphomaniacs. Believe me; with persistent genital arousal disorder, even the real nymphomaniacs do not stand a chance. While a nymph would be fantasizing about an uncontrollable desire to have lots of sex, especially with different partners. A PGAD patient would be applying lotions to ease inflammations on her genitals due to unprovoked orgasm. 


Even though this condition is common in women, it also occurs in men. It takes the form called priapism. Priapism takes place when a man is erected for several hours even without anything sexually arousing triggering the erection.

Generally, persistent genital arousal disorder is considered as a rare phenomenon, probably due to paucity of this medical wonder, how exceptional is its occurrence remains uncertain. According to PELVIC PAIN FOUNDATION OF AUSTRALIA,[6] ‘It has been documented in women of all ages, and affects those who are married or unmarried, hetero- or homosexual, before or after menopause, and across all levels of education.’


Persistent genital arousal disorder?

According to a medical news article written by Adam Felman the known Cause of the phenomenon includes ‘’sexual stimulation, masturbation, anxiety, and stress’’ [9]. However, a non-sexual activity like going to the toilet may result in severe arousal as to be painful.

Most women do not understand their symptoms, therefore, even after careful assessment, no palpable cause is found. Nevertheless, there are some circumstances that accompany PGAD.

These may include but not limited to:

  • Restless Legs Syndrome (sufferers usually have a feeling of needing to move the legs frequently, especially at night).
  • Pudendal Neuralgia – long-term pelvic pain that is instigated by damage or irritation of the pudendal nerve.  The Pudendal Nerve is the nerve to the vulva, clitoris, and lower vagina.
  •  Overactive Bladder (an umbrella name for a group of urinary symptoms. It is not quite regarded as an illness. Accompanying common symptom is a sudden, uncontrolled need or urge voiding urine)
  • Neurological disease, including Parkinson’s Disease, Epilepsy or Tarlov Cysts of the spine ( theses are fluid-filled sacs found on the sacral nerve root, this nerve is in charge of conveying information to the bladder, colon and genital areas;). A study found that, ‘’66% of women with PGAD presented with Tarlov cysts’’.
  • History of Sexual Abuse. In these set of women, genital sensations, on the whole, may be unwelcome.
  • Anxiety, depression, or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder;


Women try many things to relieve the unwelcome feeling even before summoning the courage to approach the hospital.

These may include but not limited to;

  • Orgasm
  • Masturbation
  • Intercourse
  • Exercise
  • Distraction
  • Cold compress – which may help but unfortunately relief of the condition is often only brief or partial.

Medical management may include but not limited to;

  • Surgery (when Tarlov cysts are suspected as the cause).
  • Pelvic floor physical therapy
  • Medication


Having PGAD does not mean that the increased sexual activation goes with an amplified desire for sexual activity; as a matter of fact, sexual satisfaction in women with PGAD is lower than in other women. PGAD is nothing like nymphomania or satyriasis in men where there is a hyperactive sexual craving or hypersexuality.

It is often associated with lower satisfaction with sexual activity and significant distress. The sensations are uninvited and therefore undesirable. Although there is no universally accepted cure for PGAD, there are a number of treatments approached that can be utilized by your physician to help you cope with and calm your symptoms.

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