Sex Headaches

Sex Headaches

The truth about sex and headaches still remains elusive: Around 1% of folks admit that arousal or orgasm gives them a headache -- but experts think most people are too embarrassed to fess up and the actual rate is much higher. And contrary to the stereotype, men are three to four times more likely to get hit with the passion-killing pain than women.

A sex-related headache is rarely a sign of an underlying health problem, but if it hits, you should see your doc to rule out triggers such as infection, brain aneurism, stroke or a tear in the lining of a neck artery. Usually these headaches are tied to tension, a predisposition to migraine, exertion, obesity, taking a kneeling position during intercourse or your degree of sexual excitement. It can also be due to using marijuana, amyl nitrite, amphetamines, certain anti-anxiety drugs and the erectile dysfunction medication sildenafil.

Treatment includes going slow (never a bad tactic), or trying anti-migraine meds called triptans. For frequent or prolonged attacks your doc may add anti-hypertension medication. But don’t opt for abstinence as a solution: A mutually enjoyable sexual relationship relieves stress, strengthens your heart and soul, protects your brain and makes your RealAge up to 8 years younger.

Medically reviewed in January 2020.

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