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This rare, but distressing condition is complex and poorly understood.

At HerMD, we have treated women who have PGAD who have been dismissed and overlooked by their health care providers.

What is it?

Persistent genital arousal disorder (PGAD)/genito-pelvic dysesthesia (GPD) is a complex and distressing disorder. The International Society for the Study of Women’s Sexual Health (ISSWSH) defines PGAD/GPD in women as a condition “characterized by persistent or recurrent, unwanted or intrusive, distressing sensations of genital arousal (e.g., feelings of being on the verge of orgasm and of lubrication and swelling, tingling, throbbing, contractions) that persist for ≥3 months and may include other types of genito-pelvic dysesthesia (e.g., buzzing, burning, twitching, itch, pain).”

How many women does this impact? / What is the prevalence?

PGAD/GPD is a poorly understudied condition. The data that does exist suggests a PGAD/GPD prevalence of 0.6-3.0% in women worldwide.

What are the symptoms

Common symptoms of PGAD/GPD include:

  • Sensations of genital arousal (mainly, orgasm) not related to sexual desire, thoughts, or fantasies
  • Burning, itching, or pain
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Distress
  • Poor quality of life
  • Suicide ideations

Treatment Options

While there aren’t any FDA-approved treatment options for PGAD/GPD, many treatment options exist to help alleviate distressing symptoms.

Common treatment options include:

  • Multiple medications
  • Procedures
  • Lifestyle changes
  • Counseling
  • Physical therapy

What to expect on your visit

During your visit, you can expect your care team to listen to and address all of your concerns in a safe and trusted space. A consultation for PGAD/GPD, and corresponding evaluation modalities, will depend on the likely cause of the PGAD/GPD.

A consultation may include:

  • A history and physical examination
  • Labs
  • Imaging
  • Specialist referral
What is Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder (PGAD)

Persistent genital arousal disorder (PGAD)/genito-pelvic dysesthesia (GPD) is an abnormal firing of nerves that causes a continuous, unrelenting feeling of orgasm. After orgasm, the distressing feelings don’t go away, and are often exacerbated.

Why did this happen to me?

While the exact cause of PGAD/GPD is unknown, it is understood that some conditions predispose patients to develop the disorder. Factors that may contribute to the onset of PGAD/GPD include Tarlov cysts, abruptly stopping an antidepressant, and pelvic floor dysfunction, to name a few. Varying biopsychosocial etiologies may contribute to PGAD/GPD, but there is likely a common, underlying neurological basis.

Have you successfully treated patients at HerMD?

Yes, we successfully evaluate, diagnose, and treat patients with PGAD/GPSD quite frequently. While treatment isn’t curative, we’ve had patients report being symptom-free with treatment.

The HerMD Difference

TYPICAL OB GYN OFFICE HerMD
  • 10 minute appointments
  •  20 – 60 minute appointments
  • Fragmented
  • In-person only
  • Hybrid: in-person and virtual
  • Sterile environment
  • Patient-centric, beautiful and warm
  • Focus on obstetrics, annuals, and STI care
  • Gynecology, sexual health and menopause focused with ISSWSH and NAMS trained providers

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  • Tammy Boser


    I was welcomed and felt like I was being heard. The staff listened to my concerns and offered a plan for my health moving forward.

  • melinda mintkenbaugh

    Cincinnati, OH

    Michelle Wallace, NP, is phenomenal. I have had bad experiences with previous providers, but never at HerMD! She listens, she acts, and she follows up! I feel listened to, important, and well cared for with every visit. I will NEVER go elsewhere!

  • Lisa Marie Jones


    Personalized attention in a beautiful and comfortable environment.

  • Kristine Himelick


    Wonderful, friendly staff! Loved Dr Hahn! She provided helpful information and treatment options.

  • Courtney Gerdes

    Cincinnati, OH

    Dr. Davidson is down right amazing. She listens to your concerns and talks to you about how to address them. The office is gorgeous, welcoming and comfortable. I am so happy I’ve switched to HerMD!

  • Tatyana Ali


    Can’t recommend highly enough.

  • Kimberly Johnson


    The opening of HerMD and Amy Kinnet has changed my life. I went to 3 other doctors for pelvic pain over course of 2 years and she is the only one to take my pain seriously and look for answers. Everyone in the office is warm and welcoming. Maddie is a cheerful happy face walking in, Callen is the most personable nurse I’ve ever encountered and it’s always a positive experience all around.

  • Kristina Knapp


    Love coming here for my exams, much more pleasant experience than normal doctor offices

Questions

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