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J Sex Marital Ther. 2008;34(2):150-9. doi: 10.1080/00926230701636205.

Persistent genital arousal disorder in women: case reports of association with anti-depressant usage and withdrawal.

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Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Department of Psychiatry, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Piscataway, New Jersey 08854, USA.


Little is known with certitude about the triggers of persistent genital arousal disorder (PGAD) in women, although there appears to be certain common features of the disorder. Women complain of unbidden feelings of genital arousal that are qualitatively different from sexual arousal that is preceded by sexual desire/and or subjective arousal. The majority of women find PGAD distressing and report only brief relief with orgasm. In this article, we describe five women who believe they developed PGAD either after withdrawing from selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) anti-depressants or while using them. We discuss these sexual symptoms in relation to what is already known about prolonged SSRI withdrawal syndromes and the possible etiologies of these conditions. While not a common cause of PGAD, it is possible that use of, and withdrawal from, pharmacological agents contributes to the development of PGAD.

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