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Headaches and Sex

Whoever would have thought that the some men might shy away from having intimate relations because of the intense headache pain they experience as they are about to climax.  This is a very real problem and although not common it can be a big issue for men in serious relationships. How do you tell your girlfriend or wife that although you love her deeply you cannot make love with her because it hurts your head too much? Many women will assume it’s a line being used to avoid having sex and that their relationship might be in serious danger.  But instead what they must do is accompany their man to his health care provider so that this odd phenomenon can be better explained to them.  

Oddly headaches during sex seem to hit men at two distinct periods during their lives They will either begin between the ages of twenty and twenty four or somewhere in the thirty five to forty four age range. There is no known explanation for why this occurs at either of these times. Interestingly men who suffer from headaches during sex are very often migraine headache sufferers as well.

Some women do suffer from these headaches as well, but they seem to be outnumbered by the men. Woman, so frequently accused of using headaches as an excuse not to have sex, have even more trouble convincing their lovers of this headache problem being real.

These sex headaches have been classified as an exertion problem. Its like the person is stressing their bodies during sex and like any excessive exertion the body is not handling it well. So the headache starts as the exertion increases.  Some physicians will suggest trying to slow down the final phase of intercourse to bring on orgasm slower as sometimes this helps to lessen the headache pain.  Sex headaches are sharp, severe, sudden pain and anything that can be done to diminish this pain is worth a try. Research is still trying to understand the cause of sex headaches, also known as orgasmic cephalalgia. Researchers suspect that the enthusiastic exercise that occurs during intercourse, which raises a person’s blood pressure and increases their heart rate, also releases certain chemicals into the brain.  They further surmise that these chemicals then become a headache trigger.  There are not a lot of things that can be done to help this inconvenient problem.  Some health care providers suggest the use of a painkiller and anti-inflammatory, a particular one originally used for arthritis treatment that is now being used quite successfully for headrace care as well. Others suggest the use of beta-blockers, which is traditionally a heart medication, which has had some good results in the treatment of migraines. The suggestion for the lover of someone with this frustrating problem is patience. It is not a psychosomatic headache. Your lover is not feeling intense headache pain just to avoid having sexual relations with you.  These headaches will go on for a while and disappear as mysteriously as they appeared.

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VISITOR COMMENTS on "Headaches and Sex":

June said,
30th December 06
I am a woman who recently started experiencing these type of headaches. They are inexplicably sudden, sharp and intense and dehabilitating. Fortunately, my partner is very patient and understanding, but I do believe that the best explanation for these headaches is exertion. I have also recentlt started to experience these headaches in the gym, but can often stop my activities there better than I can in the bedroom. I have found that slowing down bedroom activities has helped quite a bit, especially when I feel a headache coming on, and later I can climax without the headache occurring. I have also been taking medications prior to sexual activity, and that seems to lesson the headache, but is never really reliable. The most reliable way of avoiding these headaches is by varying the speed of the sexual activity and being patient.

Unsure said,
15th February 07
I am also a woman who recently starting experiencing what I beleive to be Sex Headaches. I've done some basic research on the subject, and all the info point to this. I had about three so far, and although I have been sexually active for a few months now, I haven't had them before. My doctor won't even discuss the possibility of sex headaches with me and keeps perscribing high end medicines, for minimal use. I can't just go out and get Advil with Codine everytime I want to be with my partner. I am very frustrated, but I seem to have no one to turn to. I haven't discussed it with my partner yet, because I don't want him to feel bad. I may try discussing it with him tonight. Wish me luck!

squire said,
19th February 07
i recently experienced this problem in the last few times i had sex and alos when masturbating. The pain was severe and centred at the lower back of my head. The severe pain goues quite quickly , about 15 - 20 mins, but im left with a mild headache rest of the day. Was getting concerned it was purely a sexual condition, but also started getting the extact pain when cycling recently. I have been to Doctors who has sent me for blood tetst, but preliminary thoughts are to hold back on any strenuous activity and take mild painkillers. My understanding from reading various articles is that patiencxe is required and that these occurences leave as abruptly as they arrived, usually after 3 weeks...... heres to waiting it out...

Ditto said,
8th March 07
All, I am currently 34 years old and I have been having these same headaches since my early twenties. While I do not have them frequently, I do get them at least three or four times per year. Up until my most recent episode I believed that they were the result of a lack of oxygen to my brain as I often held my breath as I was approaching orgasm. Additionally, I thought that they were only possible (at least for me) when I was suffering froma hangover. Apparently, I was wrong. Through research, I now know that there are many others who are like me in that they suffer the same problem. I will say that my most recent headache has left me a few lingering side-effects that I never experienced before. The back of the left side of my neck is sore as is the back of my tongue. I felt a slight, on-again/off-again headache for almost two full days after the episode. I don't know if anyone else has learned to 'control' them, but I have found that if I breath deeply during the episode (regardless of the extra pain it causes) that I can cut them time it takes for the headache to subside by almost 50%. I know that it's not a cure, but forced deep breaths definitely help for me.... I wish all of you luck, realsecureus@yahoo.com

Carolina said,
21st March 07
My husband has been having these kinds of headaches over the past year or so. It really scared both of us until he went to the doctor & found out how common they were. Then, my brother started having them several months ago & called me to tell me how worried he was that something was wrong. Of course, I told him about my husband & he still went to the doctor to be sure. What surprises me is how common it is, but how few people know about these kinds of headaches. I will be sure to pass on the advice posted here about taking it slower. Thanks.

dutchess said,
30th March 07
I began having severe headaches when masturbating. After prostate cancer my husband is not capable and has turned away from any intimate contact. Bringing myself to climax is the only way to relieve the tension and I feel that the headaches may be because I am tense to begin with, since masturbating was always "preached" to be a sin. My head begins to ache, severely, and my heart rate escalates to the point where it scares me. I am at times afraid that I will have a hear attack while doing this. Help???

ian said,
30th March 07
Really glad to see all the information in this thread. I am a male 29 years of age and have had 5 or so of these headaches periodically in my life. Previously, the headaches would only be really severe after an orgasm. Today however, during intercourse it came on piercingly and sent me to lay down in pain for a while. I can still feel the aftermath of the headache and it has been about an hour since our intercourse. Lucky for my my wife is very understanding and can sense the severe pain I'm in. I'm curious if anybody else here is a smoker? I smoke tobacco out of a water pipe a couple times a day and before I started smoking I don't recall the headaches occurring. Tell everyone you know about this. We need to get the word out there so that more research may be conducted.

Mac said,
7th April 07
I'm a 40 yo male. Up until now, my sex life has been great, but within the last two months, everytime my wife and I have sex, just at climax, a very intense pain erupts behind my left eye. I suffered from migraines as a youngster and learned to control anxiety which seemed to bring the real bad ones on. These symptoms are much different, along with the pain, I experience numbness in parts of my body and face. My wife says that my lefs facial side droops. They go away after 30 minutes, but several times, I've literally collapsed from the pain and dizziness. Are there any medications that can be taken to resolve this issue?


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Headaches and Sex