The Pain Associated with Sex: An Overview of Orgasmic Headaches
In the United States, millions of adults suffer from headache pain associated with stress, anxiety and
general complications of health. I am no exception. As I migraine sufferer, I have diligently researched
and attempted to stay completely in touch with latest and greatest in migraine pain relief. It is during my
research that I learned of a whole new set of migraine headache pain sufferers for which prescription
medication and rest also seems to be the only form of pain relief. With three types of headache pain
associated, these individuals experience headaches before, during and even after sexual activity. Known
as Orgasmic Headaches, I was surprised at what I learned about the types of headache pain which can
be associated with one of the physical activities medical professionals commonly referred to as a source of improved health

An orgasmic headache, also referred to as a sex headache, is a condition in which an individual experiences

a range of headache pain from dull and aching to sharp, sudden and severe, before, during or even after

sexual activity and, in most cases, are associated with orgasm. With three types of potential headache

complications, associated with sexual activity, the good news is this type of headache sufferer, in most

cases, can obtain relief with a few simple measures of treatment. The unfortunate, and common, statistic

lies in the fact that men, more often than women, suffer from these headache symptoms associated with

sexual activity. Let's begin by looking at the three types of headache risks associated with sexual activity


The first line of sex related headache is simply the anticipatory or activity based headache. With sexual

activity, simple muscle contractions of the head and neck can lead to constriction of blood flow to the

brain, increased blood pressure, and, ultimately, lead to a mild and dull aching type of headache. Commonly

this type of headache is not foreseen and, in most cases, can be alleviated with use of over the counter pain

reliever such as ibuprofen or NSAIDs


However, as a more complex type of sexual headache, some individuals experience
what is known as a benign coital headache. Simply put, the headache is not life
threatening but, in most cases, is severe enough to warrant rest and prescription
drug use to alleviate headache pain. In the benign coital headache, pain is commonly
reported as sudden and excruciating and, generally, begins during sexual
intercourse, immediately before or during orgasm. In scientific studies, it has been
found the pain of the benign coital headache, associated with sexual activity, is not
directly related to degree of movement during sex. In other words, even those who
are engaged in limited physical movement during sex can experience a sudden excruciating
onset of headache pain around the time of orgasm. So, what is believed to be the
culprit behind this debilitating headache pain condition

Preliminary research suggests the benign coital headache may be attributed to a sudden change in blood

pressure associated with sexual activity and orgasm. Most often, headache sufferers, to treat the benign coital

headache pain, are provided prescription drugs commonly used to lower blood pressure in addition to prescription

drugs used to treat migraine pain. Unfortunately, rest is also prescribed and, simply, is not limited to rest only

after sex but, also, includes abstinence from sexual activity for up to two weeks following onset of headache

pain. In fact, in research studies, individuals experiencing benign coital headache pain will generally

experience a complete remission of headache pain with two weeks of abstinence


The third type of headache pain is associated with conditions which may be life threatening. As a result, anyone

experiencing an initial headache associated with sexual activity should be evaluated by a healthcare

professional to rule out other co morbid or underlying health concerns. As a more severe complication, often

exacerbated by sexual activity, an individual experiencing undiagnosed cardiovascular complications of the

brain, may suffer life threatening results, during sex, when the brain is greatly stimulated. While it is not the

sexual activity which is life threatening, the presence of a pre-existing blood vessel or blood artery

abnormality, or brain tumor, could attribute to a sudden bleeding within the brain when sexual activity

occurs. While individuals with cardiovascular complications of the brain commonly exhibit symptoms well

before sexual activity, it could be the fluctuation in blood pressure, associated with sexual activity, which

attributed to a potentially fatal outcome. As a result, all first time headache sufferers, with headache pain

directly associated with the timing of sexual intercourse, should seek medical attention immediately.Once

ruled out as a life threatening complication, individuals suffering from headache pain associated with sexual

activity will commonly begin a regimen of prescription medication in an effort to control the blood pressure

activity, which fluctuates during sex. Taken within a few hours of anticipated sexual activity, these blood

pressure medications work to improve the blood flow to the brain during sex and, as a result, can prevent

the onset of headache pain. Beyond blood pressure medications, some headache sufferers will utilize

migraine pain relieving prescription medications in an effort to alleviate any residual headache pain

associated with the sexual activity. And finally, as stated earlier, abstinence from sexual activity, usually

over a two week period, can provide for profound improvement and, in most cases, resolve
the orgasmic headaches without further complications


For more information regarding headaches associated with sexual activity, consult

a neurosurgeon or visit

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