What is a benign orgasmic headache?

If you take too much medication it can actually trigger more headaches. This kind of a headache is called a rebound headache.

Fortunately, rebound headaches usually go away after the patient stops using the medicine.

Using too much of the typical over-the-counter medications also can lead to gastrointestinal problems.

Dr. Dawn Marcus

Taking acute medications for migraine headaches too frequently can make your headaches more severe and more frequent. This worsening of headaches is called medication overuse or rebound headaches.

Medication overuse or rebound headaches can develop if short-acting, acute medications are taken more than 2 days per week on a consistent basis. Rebound headaches are easier to prevent than to treat, so see your doctor if you are regularly using acute medications more than 2 days per week.

The Woman's Migraine Toolkit: Managing Your Headaches from Puberty to Menopause (A DiaMedica Guide to Optimum Wellness)

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The Woman's Migraine Toolkit: Managing Your Headaches from Puberty to Menopause (A DiaMedica Guide to Optimum Wellness)

Migraines are a common, controllable type of headache that affects one in every six women, more than 20 million in the United States alone. The Woman’s Migraine Toolkit helps readers take charge of...
Dr. James D. Hudson, MD
Family Practitioner

Rebound headaches are headaches that occur in people who overuse acute medication for any type of headache. Using aspirin, ibuprofen or acetaminophen more than three days a week can cause rebound headaches to develop.

The most common cause of a rebound headache is a drug called butalbital, which is a barbiturate. The combination of butalbital, caffeine and acetaminophen or aspirin is known to cause rebound headaches. Drugs that contain these elements should not be taken more than once or twice a week. Some countries have outlawed their sale because of the frequency of rebound headaches that is associated with them.
If you stop taking the medicine, the rebound headaches should stop within about two weeks.

Trinity Health is a Catholic health care organization that acts in accordance with the Catholic tradition and does not condone or support all practices covered in this site. In case of emergency call 911. This site is educational and not a substitute for professional medical advice, always seek the advice of a qualified healthcare provider.

Secondary headaches are those which arise from a medical illness. There are many types of secondary headaches, including tumors, brain hemorrhages, infections involving the brain and so forth. In contrast is the more typical "primary headache," such as migraines and tension headaches. The reason that the doctor may order a MRI scan and blood work is to exclude a secondary headache.

Rebound headache or medication overuse headache is seen in patients who use rescue medications frequently. Any medication that is used to treat a headache, including ibuprofen, acetaminophen, butalbital containing products or narcotics used more often than two times a week can actually cause more headaches. Caffeine, especially in high quantities, can also lead to more headaches. Even if you are using the mediction for a reason other than headache it can cause rebound headaches. The way to treat rebound headache is to stop or at least significantly limit the overused medication, being careful to not just substitute in another medication. If you find that you are having headaches frequently enough you may need to consider a preventive medication which is safe to use every day.

A post-traumatic headache is a headache that can occur after a patient has received a head or neck injury. “Post-traumatic headache” is a general term with which no specific treatment is associated as the pain the patient experiences may emanate from many different structures in the head and neck.

The term headache describes any type of ache or pain in the head region. A headache can be a sharp pain, but it can also be a dull, achy pain. Headaches can last anywhere from a few moments to several days. And while headaches can be caused by an injury or condition in the brain or head, many headaches are caused by other ailments in the body or for no reason at all.

A secondary headache arises from an underlying illness or injury. For instance, a blow to the head can cause internal bleeding, which increases pressure in the brain, which results in an intense headache. Because they can be an indicator of a serious underlying problem, secondary headaches should not be ignored.


Secondary headaches are headaches caused by an underlying problem inside the head. A common cause of secondary headache is trauma. Other potential causes are stroke, bleeding in the head, tumors, aneurysms, arteriovenous malformations, high blood pressure, hydrocephalus, and/or infections. 

Symptoms might accompany the headache to indicate that further testing is necessary as the pain might be due to one of the problems mentioned before (weakness on one side of the body, nausea and vomiting, double vision, dizziness, trouble speaking). Testing of someone with headaches and at least one of these symptoms might include: CT scan and CTA of the head, MRI and MRA of the brain, and/or femoral cerebral angiogram.

Treatment of the headache will most likely include pain relievers and management of the cause of pain.

Dr. Steven A. Meyers, MD
Diagnostic Radiologist

Headaches are classified as either primary or secondary. A secondary headache is due to an identifiable medical condition that causes the headache. The headache is a symptom of the medical problem. A primary headache disorder does not have an identifiable medical problem as the cause.

Cynthia T. Tucker
Nursing Specialist

Secondary headache disorders are caused by an underlying illness or condition that affects the brain. These headaches are usually diagnosed based on other symptoms that occur concurrently and the characteristics of the headaches. Some of the more serious causes of secondary headache include brain tumor and disorders of blood vessels in the brain, including stroke. A tumor that is growing in the brain can press against nerve tissue and pain-sensitive blood vessel walls, disrupting communication between the brain and the nerves or restricting the supply of blood to the brain. Headaches may develop, worsen, become more frequent, or come and go, often at irregular periods. The pain may worsen when coughing, changing posture, or straining, and may be severe upon waking. Treatment options include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. However, the vast majority of individuals with headache do not have brain tumors.

Headaches inflict their misery in a variety of ways, from a dull, steady ache to a blinding, throbbing pain. Nearly everyone has them at least occasionally, but an unfortunate few experience near-constant head pain. Yet no matter how mild or severe, the pain is rarely an omen of some terrible disease but instead a response to the realities of life: stress, fatigue, exposure to allergens, and lack of sleep. Of course, knowing that doesn't make your headaches any less painful. The most severe forms—migraine and cluster headache—can be particularly vexing. But many effective strategies relieve and even prevent headaches. Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, ketoprofen, and naproxen sodium, often provide relief for occasional headaches, especially when combined with rest, some relaxation, and a bite to eat. If this approach doesn't alleviate the pain, a number of prescription medications are available, and a handful of drug companies are testing new classes of medications as well as novel delivery systems to increase the efficiency of existing medications.

Different types of headaches include:

  • Benign orgasmic headache tends to occur in people with migraine. A severe headache occurs each time a person reaches sexual orgasm. Because the experience may be virtually identical to a thunderclap headache (headache that strikes like a blow to the head, causing sudden, intense pain), which is associated with bleeding inside the head, testing may be needed to confirm the diagnosis.
  • Thunderclap headache strikes like a blow to the head, causing sudden, intense pain that peaks within 60 seconds. The pain may begin to subside within hours, or it can last for days. These uncommon headaches may appear for no obvious physical reason. But others are a warning of a possibly life-threatening condition, such as a subarachnoid hemorrhage (bleeding around the brain). Because of this risk, you should seek emergency treatment if you experience symptoms of a thunderclap headache.
  • Ice-pick headache takes its vivid name from its identifying characteristic: sudden, brief, and severe stabs of pain to the head. Ice-pick headache is so fleeting that it's over long before any medication could take effect. This type of headache generally afflicts people who suffer from migraine or cluster headache.
  • Post-traumatic headache develops after a head or neck injury, generally from relatively minor events that don't cause a loss of consciousness. Such injuries often cause daily headaches, but they may also share characteristics with migraine. Post-traumatic headaches may persist for a year or more.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.