Some women do not even know what it feels like to have an orgasm. Others must exhaust 'a stud', squeezing him like a lemon for one. And some actually have one due to the slightest vibration, even the purr of a hairdryer, or the rhythmic drone of a photocopier. They can have even 300 spontaneous orgasms per day. "What a luck!" some would say.
But a new research reveals that women experiencing Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder (PGAD) also named Persistent Sexual Arousal Syndrome (PSAS), represented by spontaneous, unprovoked, intrusive and persistent sensations of genital arousal (often accompanied by breast congestion), with or without orgasm or genital engorgement/swelling/lubrication, unrelieved by one or several orgasms, but not connected to a higher sex drive (patients are annoyed by this arousal) are rather likely to experience psychological conditions than pleasure. PGAD has nothing to do with hypersexuality (nymphomania).
These women report depression, panic attacks, shame, embarrassment, frustration, guilt, anxiety, isolation, feelings of helplessness, vulnerability and sadness, being awakened in the morning by hot flashes and a feeling of a lack of normality. PGAD patients often show a history of sexual victimization.
"Often, I'll want to wear myself out by having as many orgasms as I can so they stop and I can get some peace. Sometimes I have so much sex to try to calm myself down I get bored of it. And men I sleep with don't seem to make as much effort because I climax so easily.", said one PGAD patient.
The physical arousal can be very intense and can last for days or weeks. Orgasm (caused by sex intercourse/masturbation) seldom causes temporary relief, but after several hours the symptoms come back. A partner coping with such sexual demands does not exist and he can feel himself dominated by such women. The syndrome can appear on "spot" areas, like deep inside the vagina, or in the clitoris area.
Moreover, the condition may be more common than initially thought, as hundreds of female subjects worldwide completed a comprehensive web-based survey asking PGAD women to respond. Researchers would like to correlate psychological, medical and pharmacological factors to this condition.
PGAD can affect a subject's activity, impeding her to focus on daily tasks. Some situations, like riding in an automobile or train, mobile phone vibrations, alcohol consumption and even bath use can exacerbate the syndrome, turning it unbearable.
"Sitting is unbearable, sometimes causing pressure to orgasm. Standing is the only time I feel nothing. Sitting in a car is torture. The opening of the vagina is just as sensitive and a mere touch will bring me to orgasm. My husband is very sympathetic and relieves the terrible pressure anytime I ask. Those close to me that I've told about this at first think it's funny and then realize that indeed it is not."
"I was constantly feeling overwhelming sensations of sexual arousal, which were purely physical and not accompanied by romantic or sexual fantasies. Basically I felt the need to have repeated orgasms which was never relieved by normal orgasmic experience." These are testimonies of PGAD patients.
The partner can feel frustration and confusion, being helpless in providing relief, isolation and lack of support from family and peers, frustration and anger.
You can imagine the way it affects social life and keeping a job is almost impossible. Nobody would like to have an employee that goes so often to the bathroom.
"The complaint of persistent genital arousal deserves serious research attention since it is accompanied by a considerable amount of psychological distress, and yet the cause and treatment remain undefined," said senior author Dr. Sandra Leiblum, former President of the International Society for the Study of Women's Sexual Health.
"PGAD is most certainly not 'all in the mind,' and these women should be assessed thoroughly with empathy and careful attention to their symptoms and history. Although no physical illness or medication showed up as a cause of PGAD in this study, I would urge women to initially consult a sympathetic physician," said co-author Dr. David Goldmeier.
"Women of all ages, ranging from teens to menopause, currently suffer from this obtrusive sexual problem. More research efforts to better understand and treat this unusual under-inhibited sexual condition are strongly needed." said Irwin Goldstein, Editor-in-Chief of The Journal of Sexual Medicine, which is going to publish the first-ever study on PGAD.
For the moment, researchers can only guess an impairment in sensory nerves and this prevails in post-menopausal women in their 40s and 50s, or those who went through hormonal or anti-depression treatment; still, there have also been signaled cases of women even younger than 20. Others say it could be linked to the brain's limbic system, the center of pleasure and sex physiology. A brain tumor in an area receiving signals from the genitalia area has been recorded in a case. Ovary tumors have been also reported.