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Disease Profile

Persistent genital arousal disorder

Prevalence estimates on Rare Medical Network websites are calculated based on data available from numerous sources, including US and European government statistics, the NIH, Orphanet, and published epidemiologic studies. Rare disease population data is recognized to be highly variable, and based on a wide variety of source data and methodologies, so the prevalence data on this site should be assumed to be estimated and cannot be considered to be absolutely correct.


US Estimated

Europe Estimated

Age of onset





Autosomal dominant A pathogenic variant in only one gene copy in each cell is sufficient to cause an autosomal dominant disease.


Autosomal recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of each gene of the chromosome are needed to cause an autosomal recessive disease and observe the mutant phenotype.


dominant X-linked dominant inheritance, sometimes referred to as X-linked dominance, is a mode of genetic inheritance by which a dominant gene is carried on the X chromosome.


recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of a gene on the X chromosome cause an X-linked recessive disorder.


Mitochondrial or multigenic Mitochondrial genetic disorders can be caused by changes (mutations) in either the mitochondrial DNA or nuclear DNA that lead to dysfunction of the mitochondria and inadequate production of energy.


Multigenic or multifactor Inheritance involving many factors, of which at least one is genetic but none is of overwhelming importance, as in the causation of a disease by multiple genetic and environmental factors.


Not applicable


Other names (AKA)

Persistent genital arousal; PGAD


Persistent genital arousal disorder (PGAD) in men may be considered as the condition of priapism and unwanted ejaculatory fluids being released without any sexual interest. In women there is still no consensus about a formal definition, but some of the experts propose that in women it should be defined as a rare, unwanted, and intrusive sexual dysfunction associated with excessive and unremitting genital arousal and engorgement in the absence of sexual interest. The persistent genital arousal usually does not resolve with orgasm and causes personal distress. Features include excessive excitement or excessive genital (lubrication, swelling, and engorgement) or other somatic responses. Causes may be neurological (central or peripheral involving the pudendal nerve), related to medication, vascular, hormonal, psychological or others. Diagnosis of the cause is essential for an adequate patient management. The treatment may include avoiding offending medications, using medications that stabilize nerve transmission and/or effect mood, local topical anesthetic agents, ice and hormonal replacement. More recently PGAD has being described as one component of a broader Restless Genital Syndrome if the PGAD was also associated with urinary frequency/urgency and restless leg syndrome.[1][2]

Learn more

These resources provide more information about this condition or associated symptoms. The in-depth resources contain medical and scientific language that may be hard to understand. You may want to review these resources with a medical professional.

Where to Start

In-Depth Information

  • The Merck Manual for health care professionals provides information on Persistent genital arousal disorder.
  • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Persistent genital arousal disorder. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.


  1. Goldstein I. Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder—Update on the Monster Sexual Dysfunction. Journal of Sexual Medicine. October 7, 2013; 10:2357–2358. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jsm.12314/full. Accessed 7/14/2015.
  2. Persistent Sexual Arousal Syndrome. Boston University School of Medicine. March, 2004; https://www.bumc.bu.edu/sexualmedicine/informationsessions/persistent-sexual-arousal-syndrome/. Accessed 7/14/2015.