Orgasms aren't always welcome, especially when they can be triggered by a gesture as innocent as a pat on the back
THE HUFFINGTON POST
If the idea of an endless stream of orgasms sounds blissful, think again. A New Jersey woman, who climaxes around a 100 times a day, thanks to a rare medical condition, says that even the slightest jostle can trigger an orgasm, effectively making her life a living hell. Here, a concise guide to her bewildering case:
What is this rare disorder?
Doctors diagnosed Kim Ramsey, 44, with Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder, or PGAD. Ramsey, a nurse and recent U.K. transplant, reports that even the tiniest movement can bring her to climax — and it's not nearly as enjoyable as it sounds. "Trains, driving, and even housework start the reaction," she tells Britain's The Sun. "Other women wonder how to have an orgasm — I wonder how to stop mine." The crippling, persistent orgasms leave her in pain, exhausted, and unable to carry on normal relationships with men.
How did she develop PGAD?
Doctors suspect that the syndrome was likely triggered in 2001, when Ramsey fell down a flight of stairs. The theory is that this accident led, over a period of years, to the formation of a Tarlov cyst on her spine, at the point at which a woman's orgasm originates. Ramsey first experienced problems in 2008, after having sex with a new boyfriend. "I had constant orgasms for four days" afterward, she says. "I thought I was going mad." She tried everything in her power to stop them, from sitting on frozen peas to doing squats — all to no avail.
Have other patients been diagnosed with PGAD?
Yes. Though diagnoses are quite rare, doctors think PGAD affects thousands of women, and that sufferers may simply be unwilling to speak up out of shame or embarrassment. And while the potential causes of PGAD remain unknown — surely, not every patient falls down the stairs — a 2008 study looking at 18 women diagnosed with the condition determined that the majority of them first experienced it during early menopause, says The Huffington Post. One woman who detailed her battle with PGAD in a 2009 post on Boing Boing said the condition was completely unrelated to her sex drive. "Watching sex scenes does nothing for me," she says, "but the other day, when a friend put his hand on my back, I found it really hard to contain a screaming orgasm."
Is there a cure?
A few women have been able to overcome PGAD with experimental treatments like shock therapy, physical therapy, and/or anti-anxiety drugs such as duloxetine. However, it's unclear if any of those treatments will solve Ramsey's problem.