Headaches From Sex: Coital Cephalgia
What Are Sex Headaches (Coital Cephalgia) Like? Who Gets Them?
Sex headaches can occur around either masturbation or any kind of sex. There have even been incidents where getting into position has caused them. They are rare, only one out of 360 headaches (not people but people with headaches) are sex headaches. The vast majority are benign, although a few are signs of other medical problems (see below). They are part of a bigger phenomenon called exertional headaches -- those caused by exercise.
Men and women have the same rates of exertional headaches in general. But, men have higher rates of sex headaches specifically. This is the opposite of what you might expect, as women have more headaches in general. Estronaut was not able to find the exact reason for this. It could be due to the fact that men are more likely to be the more active partner, more likely to have an orgasm from sex, or masturbate more than women. Women who are more likely to get them are: over 40, have recently started an exercise program, or have migraines or tension headaches already. There has been some evidence that the 6 weeks after childbirth are also high risk times. If a woman does have previous headache problems, her sex headaches will be of the same type.
They vary greatly from woman to woman. They are divided into three basic types. There are the early, mild headaches, that are short-lasting. There are orgasmic headaches, that are more sudden and severe. These may or may not go into post-coital headaches that last for up to a day. This last type can occur by itself as well.
Sex headaches are usually felt at the base of the skull, but can be all over. The pain can be mild to exploding. They do not occur with every sex act. Some people go for years between episodes.
What Causes Sex Headaches (Coital Cephalgia)? Is There Something Serious Wrong?
Obviously, sex raises the blood pressure. This in turn raises the pressure in the head. Also, sex causes muscle tightening and tension. Sex headaches are a combination of the blood pressure and muscle tension, for most people. Some cases have been found where there is low pressure of the fluid around the brain and spine.
In rare instances, sex headaches unveil underlying medical problems. These include: meningitis, bleeding in the skull, aneurysm, tumors, strokes, and various enodcrine disorders. The more severe the pain is and the more the woman has other symptoms (tingling, weakness, numbness, changes in her vision, disorientation) the more she should consider seeing her doctor. The doctor will review all her symptoms and neurological signs in the office. If necessary, she may go for a CAT scan or an MRI. A spinal tap is done rarely.
Prevention And Treatment
Once they occur, the treatments are much the same as any headaches. Again, migraine suffers will likely have a migraine and will want to use their fiorinal, or esgic. Any caffiene based medications or anti-inflammatories (naproxen, ibuprofen) can be tried. Cold compresses, and lying in a dark and quiet room can also help.
To prevent them, abstinence works, but will have few takers. Switching to a less active position or role also works. But many women are already on the bottom and those who aren't don't want to give it up. Common, non-narcotic pain relievers, such as naproxen (500mg) or anaprox (550mg) taken an hour or two before sex can prevent some sex headaches. Ibuprofen (at least 400mg or more) can also work. Propranolol, a blood pressure reducing drug has also been used. About 40mg can be given on a regular basis or a couple of hours before sex. Migraine suffers use their ergotamine. Some people try plain old aspirin. With sex headaches, the woman's anxiety level and feelings about the relationship may be an issue. If there are problems here, she and/or her partner should seek counseling. If all else fails, then just wait. Sex headaches often go away on their own in a matter of weeks or months.