Persistent genital arousal disorder (also known as persistent sexual arousal
syndrome and restless genital syndrome) is defined as feelings of spontaneous,
persistent and intense genital arousal with or without orgasm, with or
without genital engorgement, in the absence of sexual desire. This rare
and unique sexual arousal problem is extremely distressing for women who
experience it and many do not report this sexual complaint to physicians
because of embarrassment, humiliation, shame and frustration. Feelings
of arousal are usually very powerful and extreme and persist for extended
periods (hours, days or weeks). Orgasm may provide several hours of relief
but in most women with persistent genital arousal disorder the forceful
arousal symptoms return quickly. Women who have persistent genital arousal
disorder cannot concentrate on even mundane projects because it is impossible
to ignore the constant arousal.
Evaluation of a women suspected of having persistent sexual arousal syndrome
involves a detailed psychologic evaluation, sexual, medical and psychosocial
history, physical examination, laboratory tests of blood hormone levels
and specialized testing of genital sensation and genital blood flow.
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