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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
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  • Sterile environment
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  • Focus on obstetrics, annuals, and STI care
  • Gynecology, sexual health and menopause focused with ISSWSH and NAMS trained providers

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    Wonderful clinic, highly recommend! If I could change anything I would add to their patient portal a way for patients to be able to access their medical records online.

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    Cincinnati, OH

    Lexi is the best when it comes to your skincare needs

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    Everyone is great at HerMd KY. The office is so homey and welcoming.

  • Elizabeth Cotton


    I’m so thankful to find HerMD. A group of women physicians treating women. The care was great but also the experience was great. The nurse practitioner spent a lot of time with me and didn’t rush through the appointment. It was great!

  • Elizabeth Velazquez-Noll


    Rachel was fabulous. She is friendly and knowledgeable, gave me options without making me feel pressured and I am so happy with the outcome!

  • Anthony Ripepi

    Cincinnati, OH

    Great staff and always get me in last minute. The only place I never have to go back for touchups because they do a great job the first time.

  • Jessica Lewis

    Cincinnati, OH

    Friendly staff and amazing 1:1 time during your appointment, they listen and take care of your needs

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    Cincinnati, OH

    Michelle is great! Made me feel comfortable. She is very good, knowledgeable. Highly recommend!

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    Cincinnati, OH

    The best services ever!!!! Lexi is the Bomb Diggity

  • Nicole S.

    Cincinnati, OH

    I highly, highly recommend this practice – especially for people who are neurodivergent and/or who have anxieties around receiving medical care. All staff members were pleasant to interact with; I let the medical assistant know that I’m typically a hard stick, but bless her, she got it in one try. I wish I could give them more than five stars!

Questions

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