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Orgasmic headache: what it is, symptoms, causes and treatment


Orgasmic headache is a headache that appears during sexual intercourse, before or during orgasm, caused by excessive muscular contractions of the neck muscles or by changes in the blood flow of the brain's blood vessels during intimate contact.

This type of headache, also known as orgasmic headache, is more common in men, aged close to 30, who already suffer from migraines, however, it can also affect women, causing a sudden and intense headache, which can affect both sides of the head and the back of the neck, and last a few minutes, hours or up to 3 days.

Orgasmic headache is treated by a neurologist, especially when it occurs frequently, is very severe or does not improve. If the headache is accompanied by other symptoms, such as weakness, numbness or mental confusion, you should go to the hospital immediately so that treatment can be carried out as quickly as possible, as it may indicate serious conditions, such as stroke or brain aneurysm, for example.

Symptoms of orgasmic headache

The main symptoms of orgasmic headache are:

  • Intense, throbbing headache that appears during orgasm, but can also appear a few moments before or after orgasm;
  • Sudden headache that mainly affects the back of the head and the back of the neck;
  • Feeling of pressure or heaviness in the head that worsens with sexual excitement;
  • Headache that appears on both sides of the head.

A headache that appears during or shortly after sex or masturbation usually goes away within a few minutes, but may take up to 12 hours or even 3 days.

It is important to consult a neurologist when the headache is very intense or appears frequently, does not improve with the use of painkillers, with a good night's sleep or prevents sleep, or even causes migraine attacks, which manifest as pain. intense pain located in a part of the head other than the back of the neck.

In addition, you should seek hospital or emergency room immediately when the headache is accompanied by other symptoms such as loss of strength or tingling on one side of the body, difficulty speaking, blurred vision, drowsiness or mental confusion, as It may be indicative of a stroke or brain aneurysm, which are serious situations that can be life-threatening.

How to confirm the diagnosis

The diagnosis of orgasmic headache is made by a neurologist through evaluation of symptoms and health history.

If the doctor suspects a health condition that is causing the headache, tests such as MRI, CT or cerebral angiography may be ordered.

In more serious cases or when the cause cannot be found through imaging tests, the doctor may perform a lumbar puncture, taking a sample of the fluid that surrounds the spinal cord and brain, in order to identify whether there is any type of bleeding. or central nervous system infection. See how a lumbar puncture is performed.

Types of orgasmic headache

Orgasmic headache can be classified into two types, according to the characteristics of the pain and the moment in which it occurs, and includes:

  • Pre-orgasmic headache: is characterized by sudden headache during intimate contact, before orgasm, which worsens with sexual excitement;
  • Orgasmic headache: occurs moments before or during orgasm, characterized by being a type of strong and throbbing headache.

The type of orgasmic headache is identified by the neurologist through analysis of the symptoms, the characteristics of the pain and the person's report of the moment the pain started.

Possible causes

The exact cause of orgasmic headache is not yet completely understood, however it is believed that it may occur due to contractions in the muscles of the neck and jaw or due to health conditions that result in changes in blood flow to the brain.

Some factors may contribute to the development of orgasmic headache, such as:

  • History of migraine, tension headache or exertional headache;
  • Malformations of the blood vessels in the brain;
  • Aneurisma cerebral;
  • Burst of a blood vessel in the brain;
  • AVC;
  • Subarachnoid hemorrhage;
  • Reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome, which causes a narrowing of the arteries in the brain;
  • Tumor cerebral;
  • Coronary artery disease;
  • Use of contraceptive pills, in the case of women;
  • Side effect of medications for erectile dysfunction in men, such as sildenafil, vardenafil or tadalafil;
  • Use of medicines, such as amiodarone or pseudoephedrine.

Furthermore, orgasmic headaches can arise due to infections or inflammations in the central nervous system, such as meningitis or encephalitis, for example.

Orgasmic headache is a rare disease and even those affected who experience this condition only experience it once or twice in their lives. However, there are reports of people who experience this type of headache in practically every sexual encounter, and in this case, medical help should be sought to begin treatment with medication.

How the treatment is carried out

Treatment of orgasmic headache is not always necessary, as in most cases it improves within a few minutes to hours after orgasm, with simple measures such as resting and having a deeper, more restorative sleep, or applying cold compresses to the back of the neck to alleviate the discomfort of orgasmic headache. headache.

Furthermore, to prevent headaches, it is recommended to avoid having sexual intercourse until the pain disappears, as there is a possibility that it will return.

However, depending on the cause of the orgasmic headache, the neurologist may recommend treatment with medications such as propranolol, verapamil, naratriptan or sumatriptan, for example, as a way to prevent new episodes of headache after orgasm or treat high blood pressure. , coronary heart disease, migraine or tension headache. See how migraine is treated.

How to prevent orgasmic headache

Some changes in lifestyle habits can help prevent orgasmic headaches, such as:

  • Do physical exercises regularly, recommended by your doctor;
  • Avoid smoking;
  • Avoid the consumption of alcoholic beverages;
  • Eat a healthy diet, eating lean meats, eggs, dairy products, vegetables, grains and cereals;
  • Avoid the consumption of industrialized, processed foods, rich in fat, sugar and food additives.

Furthermore, if the neurologist has recommended the use of medication to prevent orgasmic headache, you must follow the treatment correctly, taking the medication at the right times and in the doses recommended by the doctor.