Getting headaches before or during orgasm can be disruptive — but certain treatments can provide relief.
Headaches associated with sexual activity aren’t unheard of, especially when it occurs right before or at the peak of orgasm.
No research has officially linked migraine with sexual activity — but according to a
Migraine occurs in about
The International Classification of Headache Disorders third edition (ICHD-3) classifies explosive, severe headaches just before an orgasm or during orgasm as a symptom of primary headache associated with sexual activity.
While headaches may be associated with orgasm, little research has linked orgasm with migraine specifically.
Causes of headaches during sex
There are various reasons you may experience a headache during sex, specifically right before or during orgasm. According to the ICHD-3, there are two types of headaches associated with sexual activity:
- probable primary headache associated with sexual activity
- primary headache associated with sexual activity
A probable headache associated with sexual activity is a single episode event, while a primary headache associated with sexual activity happens during two or more separate instances.
One case study from 2017 found that headache associated with primary activity occurs in about 1%-1.6% of the population. A
- muscle tension
- narrowing of blood vessels (vasospasm)
- brain aneurysm
- cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome
In single case studies of patients that experienced this phenomenon, there have been some links between headaches and sexual activity with the use of these substances:
These cases appear rare and would need further research to address whether these substances may be potential causes.
If you experience headaches associated with sexual activity, it’s important to have serious medical causes ruled out, but underlying serious medical causes are rare.
If you experience headaches associated with sexual activity, you aren’t alone. It tends to be more common in males than females and often has an average onset of around 30-40 years old.
In addition, the ICHD-3 reports that almost half (40%) of individuals who experience headaches associated with sexual activity experience chronic symptoms that last over one year.
The ICHD-3 names these common signs and symptoms:
- headaches occurring exclusively during sexual activity
- greater severity of headache with increased sexual arousal
- sudden extreme intensity migraine or headache just before or during climax
- lasting anywhere from a minute to 72 hours
There are ways to find relief if you experience headaches associated with sexual activity. You may consider consulting with a medical professional to rule out any underlying causes of the pain you are experiencing.
- restriction of sexual activity
- taking a more passive role in sexual activity
- occipital nerve injection
- manipulative spinal therapy
These range from conservative treatments to invasive treatments based on the severity of pain and frequency of occurrence.
Several medications have shown benefits for the treatment of headaches with sexual activity. For example, beta-blockers such as propranolol have effectively treated headaches during sex. Other beta-blockers that may help include metoprolol and nadolol.
In addition to beta-blockers, these drugs have shown promising results in the treatment of headaches associated with sexual activity:
If you’re considering medication for your pain, consider speaking with a healthcare professional about your symptoms and medical history. Your healthcare professional can discuss the best options for you and inform you of the risks and benefits of pharmacological treatment.
Little research has linked migraine attacks with orgasm, but experts have studied the link between headache and orgasm.
Headaches associated with sexual activity usually have causes that aren’t due to serious medical reasons, but in some rare cases, they can result from a more severe condition.
The onset of headaches before or during orgasm can be sudden and painful. Regardless of the cause, this pain can be debilitating for a minute or several days at a time.
If you experience this, seeking out treatment may provide you with relief to reduce or eliminate symptoms.
Changing your sexual activity or taking medications are potential ways to find relief. If those methods don’t work, manipulative spine therapy or occipital injections are options available to you.
For more about the treatment of migraine, visit:
The American Migraine Foundation
If you have persistent headaches during orgasm, consider speaking with a medical professional today.