From Pleasure to Pain: Uncovering Sexual Headache

Posted by on Oct. 24, 2012

From Pleasure to Pain: Uncovering Sexual Headache


Not many people know they’ve incurred sexual headache or coital cephalalgia until the pain becomes too unbearable. You might think that it is part of the sexual experience, but what you don’t know is that it can be a symptom of an underlying condition. Although sexual headaches rarely happen, it’s important to equip yourself with the right information so you’ll know what to do once it occurs.

When does it happen?
Sexual headaches can be experienced when you’re engaged in any form of sexual activity. Both men and women experience it, and the pain could last for a couple of minutes to a few hours—even lasting up to days. The pain starts in the head and slowly builds up in your neck as the sexual excitement intensifies, and could suddenly turn severe before or after reaching orgasm.

It can be difficult to tell if you’re about to experience sexual headache because the pleasure you’re experiencing at the moment may keep you distracted. According to Mayo Clinic however, once the muscles in your neck and jaw start to tighten and you feel a dull and throbbing ache at the sides of your head, you’ll know it’s about to attack.


Sexual headache may be caused by the following:

  • Increase in blood pressure or heart rate during orgasm
  • Bleeding or hemorrhage in the brain
  • Bleeding in the artery of the brain
  • Sinus infection
  • Glaucoma
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Excessive intake of medication
  • Stroke
  • Pheochromocytoma (tumor in the adrenal glands)

Treatment and Diagnosis
Although most people think that sexual headache is nothing to worry about, you still need to talk to your doctor about it as you may have an underlying condition that can pose serious threat to your physical and mental well-being. Sexual headaches are telltale signs of a brain tumor or a serious vertebral disease. A doctor’s recommendation would require you to abstain from any sexual activity for a period of time or take a medicine called Propanolol before engaging in any form of sexual activity to lessen the headache. Weight reduction and a thorough CT scan is part of the treatment as well.


[Photo Credit: Avenue G on Flickr]

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