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Understanding the Sexual Headache and How to Get Rid of Coital Cephalalgia

One partner is expereincing a sexual headache while the other partner watches in concern

Some people joke about using the excuse of a headache to avoid sex, but a sexual headache is a legitimate medical condition that affects many individuals after engaging in sexual activity. The condition is called coital cephalalgia, and it most often occurs right before, during, or after an orgasm.

Oftentimes, these headaches are nothing to seriously worry about and pass quickly. However, they could also indicate a more serious blood flow problem that could impact the brain.

Here is some information about what coital cephalalgia is, what causes this type of headache during sex, what the symptoms are, and how to find relief from those symptoms.

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Why a Sexual Headache Occurs

Many different types of physical and strenuous activity can trigger headaches, including sex that leads to orgasm. This is because sexual excitement can bring on throbbing in the neck and head with varying degrees of pain. These types of headaches typically come on suddenly and build up intensity slowly over time. Men are more likely than women to experience sexual headaches. However, anyone who commonly experiences migraines is more at risk of having coital cephalalgia as well.

What a Headache During Sex Could Mean

A headache during sex could be a primary headache disorder that is not connected to any more serious medical condition at all. However, a sex headache could also be a sign of an intracranial aneurysm, which is a widening in the wall of an artery of the head. It could also mean that a person is having a stroke, experiencing symptoms of coronary artery disease, having inflammation from an infection, or bleeding into an artery that leads to the brain.

Symptoms of a Sexual Headache

A sexual headache can feel like a dull ache in the head and neck that gets worse as excitement builds up. However, it can also present itself as a sudden headache that is throbbing and intensifies right before or during an orgasm. Because sexual headaches feel differently in different individuals, they are often mistaken for other headache conditions. The headaches typically last only a few minutes and occur in clusters over the course of several months before clearing up for a year or longer.

How to Get Rid of Coital Cephalalgia

Anyone who experiences a headache during sex that does not go away on its own with at-home treatment may want to consult a physician. This is especially true for a person who experiences a severe sexual headache for the first time. A physician may take an MRI or CT scan of the brain to rule out the possibility of a more serious condition.

For future prevention, it may help to take a more passive role during sexual activity and approach sex in a more relaxed way.

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