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Can an orgasm cause a headache?

Imagine ending sex with an orgasm headache! Sorry to spoil your pleasure but ending up with a headache after sex is possible.
Woman with orgasm headache
An orgasm headache may happen during or after sex. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Natalia Ningthoujam Published: 8 Aug 2023, 15:34 pm IST
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Sexual satisfaction is often deemed incomplete without an orgasm, which you can experience with a partner or on your own. But it may not always pleasurable, thanks to orgasm headache. Yes, you may end up with a severe headache after sex, particularly at the time of orgasm. Sex headache is quite rare, with just 1 to 6 percent of the general population getting affected, according to a 2013 published by the US National Library of Medicine. Still, it’s good to know all about orgasm headache.

What is an orgasm headache?

An orgasm headache, also known as a sexual headache, is a type of headache that hits your during sexual activity, particularly around the time of orgasm. They can be intense and uncomfortable, leading to concerns for those experiencing them, according to Dr Ranjan Kumar, Consultant Neurologist, Regency Hospital, Govind Nagar, Kanpur.

The exact cause of orgasm headaches is not entirely understood, but they are believed to result from changes in blood flow and pressure within the head during a sexual activity.

There are two main types of orgasm headaches:

1. Primary orgasm headache

This type has no underlying cause and is considered a benign condition, says the expert. The headache typically starts suddenly before or during orgasm. During that time, you will experience a severe and throbbing pain in the head.

2. Secondary orgasm headache

This type is associated with an underlying medical condition, such as a structural issue in the brain or blood vessels, or an abnormality in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) pressure, shares the expert. Secondary orgasm headaches may also be accompanied by neurological symptoms, such as changes in vision or speech.

What causes orgasm headache?

Age and gender have got nothing to do with orgasm headaches as they can occur any time. But they are more commonly seen in men than in women, says Dr Kumar. People who have a history of migraine may also be at a higher risk of experiencing orgasm headaches.

In many cases, orgasm headaches are considered to be benign and not indicative of an underlying health problem. However, it is essential to rule out any secondary causes, especially if the headaches are severe, recurrent or accompanied by neurological symptoms. If you experience orgasm headaches or any concerning symptoms, you need to get yourself checked.

headache
Orgasm headache has two types. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

Treatment for orgasm headache

Orgasm headaches come suddenly and mostly last for a few minutes. There are no known ways to prevent them, but if you get migraines and also experience orgasm headaches, you should avoid known triggers such as irregular sleep schedule, alcohol and caffeine. As for the treatment for orgasm headache, it depends on its type.

1. Primary orgasm headaches

In case of primary orgasm headaches, over-the-counter pain relievers may provide relief. In some cases, avoiding sexual activity or adopting a more relaxed approach during sexual activity may also help reduce the likelihood of these headaches.

2. Secondary orgasm headaches

You need to address the underlying medical condition if you don’t want orgasm headache. A neurologist can conduct a thorough evaluation to determine the cause and recommend appropriate treatment. This may include medications, lifestyle adjustments or other interventions targeted at the specific issue.

So, whether it’s masturbation or having sex with your partner, if you get a headache during a sexual activity, consult a doctor.

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About the Author

Natalia Ningthoujam has written on various subjects - from music to films and fashion to lifestyle - as a journalist in her career that started in 2010. After getting stories from the crime scene, police headquarters, and conducting interviews with celebrities, she is now writing on health and wellness which has become her focus area. ...Read More

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