3 Signs You Have Developed PGAD After Childbirth

Pregnancy and childbirth cause many physical changes to the body, and some of them can be unpleasant. Structural changes to the genital area during pregnancy and childbirth can lead to PGAD (Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder) in some women. PGAD is a pain disorder (as opposed to a sexual disorder) and can negatively affect your personal relationships as well as your overall life. Because PGAD is not a well-known disorder and because you may experience many uncomfortable sensations after childbirth, you may find it hard to tell if you are suffering from PGAD. Here are some ways to tell:

You Had a Traumatic Vaginal Birth 

Stretching and tearing can lead to pinched nerves and strained muscles in the genital area. If you had a rapid vaginal birth, significant tearing, or pelvic floor prolapse, then there is a chance you may develop PGAD as well. If you experience clitoral tingling, irritation, or burning or a feeling or tightness around the vulva after a traumatic vaginal birth, talk to your doctor about PGAD.  

You Had Bowel Issues During Pregnancy 

PGAD can also be caused by irritable bowel syndrome or extreme constipation. Almost all women experience constipation at some point during pregnancy. But if your constipation was significant enough to create feelings of stretching or pressure around your anus or if you have developed hemorrhoids, you may also develop PGAD. 

You Experience Orgasms With Little Relief 

After childbirth, it is natural to feel some pain or discomfort around the vaginal area for a few weeks. However, this should subside on a daily basis. If it gets worse or remains constant, it can be a sign of PGAD. One way to tell if you have PGAD and not just genital tenderness is to watch out for orgasms. If you randomly have orgasms without stimulation after childbirth, that is a sign your discomfort is caused by PGAD. Additionally, if you have an orgasm and only have relief from your tingling, pain, or tenderness for a few moments before it starts again, that may be a sign that you are suffering from PGAD as opposed to normal postpartum issues. 

If you have a feeling of uncomfortable arousal, engorgement, or unintended orgasms after childbirth, talk to your gynecologist about PGAD. Generally, if PGAD is caused by childbirth, the cause will be primarily physical, so will be treated with physical therapy for the pelvic floor and a numbing cream. However, in extreme cases, surgery may be necessary.