Neuropsychiatrist Marcel Waldinger and his colleagues of Utrecht University and The Hague's HagaHospital studied 18 Dutch women with Persistent Sexual Arousal Syndrome (PSAS).
Their findings were recently published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.
Women affected by this rare and mysterious syndrome experience persistent genital sensations as if they are continuously on the verge of an orgasm.
All participants received in depth interviews and various medical examinations such as MRI-scans of the brain and pelvis. The study showed that most women in this research also had restless legs, symptoms of an overactive bladder and pelvic varicosis.
"These results are a very important breakthrough in the research of this syndrome and show that this is a real physical disorder," Waldinger emphasised.
In 2001, PSAS was mentioned for the first time in medical literature. Only 22 case reports have been described so far. A key feature of the syndrome is that sexual contact does not lead to diminishment but to aggravation of the symptoms. The complaints may lead to desperate and depressive feelings.
The majority of women in the study, the largest on PSAS so far, reported that their complaints were accompanied by restless legs and frequent urge to void.
Some of them reported to have restless legs symptoms long before their genital complaints. MRI-scan and ECHO-Doppler investigations of the pelvis and genitals also demonstrated a high prevalence of pelvic varicosis.
Notably, varicosis and restless legs are associated. The researchers are currently continuing their research on restless legs and bladder functioning in women with PSAS, said a Utrecht University release.
According to Waldinger, PSAS is a genital form of restless legs. Based on scientific observations, he postulated the view that the weird genital sensations are equivalent to the sensations belonging to the Restless Legs Syndrome.
"In order to emphasise this equivalence, we decided to change PSAS into Restless Genital Syndrome (RGS)", Waldinger explained.