It sounds like something out of an adult film; a woman has 50 orgasms in just one day. But for Gretchen Molannen and thousands of other women, the disorder which causes her to have to relieve her condition is a terrible disease. It’s called “Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder or “Restless Genital Syndrome” and, while rare, afflicts victims with constant, unrelenting sensations in the genital region, causing extreme physical and mental anguish.
For those with the most severe form of this condition, having an orgasm does little or nothing to relieve the pressure. They are forced to attempt to get relief by trying again, until sometimes, they are sore and exhausted. These women often find themselves debilitated; unable to work or maintain a relationship.
Molannen has a particularly intense form of the disease, which some doctors believe may be neurological in origin. She has sought treatment with no success, and describes having 50 orgasms in one day in an attempt to calm the sensations.
The disease and its accompanying sensations in the genital region is not connected to emotional or psychological issues; it is not the same as nymphomania and sufferers do not report feeling the genital sensations as being related to a mental desire to have sex.
According to the website psas.nl:
The syndrome is characterized by unrelenting, unwanted, persistent and intrusive genital arousal. The condition manifests itself as sexual arousal that occurs apart from any of the physical or psychological stimuli that trigger normal arousal. These sensations which SEEM like arousal, are NOT based in sexual desire, sexual thoughts or sexual behavior: The condition is completely non-sexual and has absolutely nothing to do with libido. The intensity of the symptoms fluctuates, also depending on certain triggers. Any pressure in or around the genitals leads to increased intensity…PGAD/ReGS is a medical condition in which false signals are sent out continuously, leading to the feeling of being on the verge of orgasm 24/7. In some cases these symptoms are accompanied by pain and in almost all cases accompanied by constantly feeling the need or urge to urinate.
It’s a disorder that often leaves gynecologists and other physicians stumped. While one study has linked the sensations to small cysts that grow on the base of the spine, other doctors say the disease is neurological. This lack of a clear pathology often complicates treatment options since it is not yet determined exactly what causes the disease. And, different women may suffer different causes.
Some sufferers have gotten minimal relief from the use of anti-depressants, which are also indicated in the management of chronic pain, but others have had no success with the same medications. There has been some success with topical numbing medications, physical therapies such as pelvic floor exercises, pain management medications and a procedure called a pudendal nerve block, but as of yet, nothing has been found to completely cure the disease.
While those afflicted with the disease are known to number in the thousands, the amount of sufferers may actually be much higher because there could be many women who are too embarrassed to seek treatment.
Women who currently suffer from the disease can find support online at the website www.psas.nl and by talking with their gynecologist about possible appropriate treatment options. A rare disorder that gives one woman 50 orgasms a day and afflicts countless others may sound like a dream but is, in reality, a nightmare.
By: Rebecca Savastio