How I was affected by Persistent Sexual Arousal Syndrome

A number of years ago, I was on a return flight home with my sister from a vacation in Ireland, when something happened. The flight itself was pretty nonsequential, until about half-way through I developed what I like to refer to as an “itch”. For some reason, my genitals decided to become aroused and they stayed that way all through the flight. I twisted, and turned in my seat, hoping that it would go away just as suddenly as the itch had appeared, but that wasn’t happening. By the time I arrived home, I was actually in physical pain, and had no idea what the heck was going on with my body.

At home, I soon put my husband to work, but no matter how many times I reached orgasm, the feelings of arousal did not decrease. This persistant state of arousal lasted a full two weeks for me. During that time, my husband tried everything to relieve what was now a painful “itch” and when he was at work, I tried myself, but my private parts refused to co-operate. I had no idea what was going on with me, and I was too embarrassed to tell anyone except my husband, so I Googled.

After searching my symptoms, I was able to find information on Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder (PGAD) (or Persistent Sexual Arousal Syndrome (PSAS)). Basically, you are in a constant state of feeling aroused, and even if you are lucky enough to reach orgasm, the symptoms do not always go away. Causes of this disorder are far ranging and was only first written about in 2001 by Dr. Sandra Leiblum. For me, it could have been the long flight, the fact that I was perimenopausal, my medication, or a combination of all three, or we will never know. All I do know, is that for a period of two weeks, I was in agony. Then as quickly as it had appeared, it disappeared. Months went by, and then PGAD came back twice, each time lasting for about three days.

I’m not sure why I decided to leak this very personal information about myself, except that I had read about it again on the news and thought sharing my story could help others that are still suffering from PGAD (PSAS). Following are some links for further information on this disorder:

Persistent Sexual Arousal Syndrome
What doctors should know
PGAD
Wikipedia – Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder
Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder: An Update of Theory and Practice

Have you been affected by PGAD or have you even heard of PGAD or PSAS?

18 thoughts on “How I was affected by Persistent Sexual Arousal Syndrome

  1. Ally

    I’ve stumbled upon your article yesterday, it gave me hope. Yesterday morning I started having that weird feeling, I hope it will leave soon because i’m turning crazy over this !

    Reply
        1. AlwaysARedhead Post author

          I was, but as quickly as it appeared, it disappeared and has not come back. Thank goodness. I think if it is a real concern for you, the best thing to do, is to see your physician and be honest with him/her.

          Reply
          1. Ally

            I think it’s starting to leave, but if it’s not gone next week i’ll pop at my doctor’s office šŸ™‚ It’s such a weird feeling, really annoying

  2. Brooke

    This happened too me…2 Days of hell. I got some serious anxiety meds which I think it was flared by anxiety. It feels gone… Dear god I hope it is. This was the strangest thing that has ever happened too me

    Reply
    1. John

      Hey this is happening to me currently and it’s tough because I’m a guy and very few guys seem to get it. It has made my life a living hell for the last few days and I haven’t told anyone because I’m too embarrassed. Has it stayed gone for you and do you think I should get some anxiety meds because it has made me very anxious. Thanks

      Reply
      1. AlwaysARedhead Post author

        It has stayed gone for me, thankfully. My best advice, as embarrassing as it sounds, I would suggest speaking with your physician. I cannot recommend any medication, because everyone is different. I know how painful this is, and the difficulties talking about it. Maybe before you go to the doctor, chose some articles from reliable sources and bring them with you. I hope this helps you.

        Reply
        1. John

          Thank you for the advice, I think you’re right that I should go to the physician despite it being humiliating. I haven’t really been able to find a whole lot of information on it because it doesn’t seem to be a very common problem. Do you know if the problem persists for long with most people?

          Reply
          1. AlwaysARedhead Post author

            I have no idea how long it lasts. To be honest, the only reason I found out about it, was on a very rare occasion I had the Oprah show on, and she had a guest speaking about it. Going to the doctor would be the best, just think, once the initial embarrassment is over, you will feel much better talking about it. Good luck.

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