What is a migraine? Why migraine happens. Who gets migraines? Treating migraines.

Migraines from Orgasms

For the majority of people an orgasm is a pleasant, positive experience. Unfortunately for a small minority, orgasms can trigger very painful migraine headaches. The headache can be caused from the actual physical exertion or effort usually involved in sex. If this is the case, the person may also suffer from migraines when doing other non-sexual but physically demanding activities. Others suffer from headaches known as coital cephalgia.

Understanding Orgasm-related Migraines

According to doctors, orgasm-related migraines, also known as coital migraines, are more common in men but can also affect women. The pain can last just a few minutes to as long as 24 hours and usually begins during the sexual activity before orgasm or shortly after orgasm. It can even happen after masturbation.

Medical researchers suspect that coital migraines are caused by the sudden change in blood pressure and blood flow to the brain and body before and following an orgasm. During arousal, blood flow increases to the brain and suddenly drops after an orgasm both potential causes for headaches. Stress or fatigue can also be factors as can be the increase in adrenaline that flows through the body during intense physical activity.

Muscle tension can also be another factor since there's typically tension in the muscles around the neck and head during sexual activity. This could trigger nerves in the area to send pain signals to the brain.

Sexual Headache Classifications

If you suspect you may be suffering from sexually-induced migraines or headaches, it's important to see your doctor as soon as possible. This is the first step to accurately determining the type of headache you have. There are three main coital migraines. Here's a brief look at them to help you figure out what type you might have. Be sure to seek emergency medical help immediately if headaches last more than 72 straight hours.

Early coital cephalgia: This type of sex-related headache usually isn't too severe with a moderate level of pain. It typically lasts only a few minutes and starts and stops during orgasm.

Orgasmic coital cephalgia: This type of sex-induced migraine tends to be very painful. It usually lasts 15 to 20 minutes and occurs just before or during orgasm.

Late coital cephalgia: This type of migraine usually happens after orgasmic coital cephalgia and can last hours or sometimes days. Pain level can be moderate to severe.

Preventing Orgasm-related Migraines

Most headaches related to sex aren't serious medically, but they are inconvenient. Try playing a more passive role in sex to see if this helps. Varying sexual positions sometimes works as well. If you've visited a doctor, you may be able to get prescription pain medication to take one or two hours before sex. Some prescription medications you may get include indomethacin, imitrex, zomig and propranolol. Preventative medications like beta blockers or verapamil may be prescribed if sexual headaches persist. An over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drug like ibuprofen is a good at-home solution which might reduce the chance of a headache if taken a couple of hours before sex.