What Are Sex Headaches?
Sex headaches are a condition brought on by sexual activity, as defined by the International Headache Society.(1) These headaches are brought on only by sexual activity and are unrelated to other causes.
Most sex headaches begin in what is known as the occipital region, or the back of the head, and appear in two ways.(1, 2) Some sufferers experience a dull ache that begins with sexual excitement, and increases in intensity as sexual excitement increases. But more commonly the pain is abrupt and explosive just before or at the time of orgasm.(2)
Sex headaches affect both men and women, although they may be up to three times more common in men.(1, 2) While more research is needed, the symptoms and appearance of a sex headache during orgasm may suggest a relationship to intense muscle contraction and increased intracranial pressure.(4, 5)
What to Do If You Experience a Headache During Sex
Experiencing a headache during sex can be frightening. However, these headaches generally resolve on their own with no serious consequences. For the majority of suffers sex headaches don’t last long, and some spontaneously disappear.(3)
However, in situations where sex headaches are intensely painful, of long duration or occur often, treatment to relieve or even prevent the pain may be effective. If you experience sex headaches, you should discuss it with your doctor to find the right plan of action.