Approximately 1% of adults say they have had headaches linked with sexual activity, and that the headaches can be severe.
“Many people who experience headaches during sexual activity are too embarrassed to tell their physicians, and doctors often don’t ask,” said Dr. Jose Biller, who is chair of Loyola University’s Department of Neurology.
“Headaches associated with sexual activity can be extremely painful and scary,” said Biller. “They also can be very frustrating, both to the individual suffering the headache and to the partner.”
The ancient physician Hippocrates first noted the connection between headaches and exercise and sexual activity. And in 2004, the International Headache Society classified HAS as a distinct form of primary headache.
Biller said men are 3 to 4 times more likely to get HSAs then women. There are 3 main types of sex headaches:
* A dull ache in the head and neck that gets worse as sexual arousal increases. It is similar to a tension headache.
* An intensely painful headache that begins during orgasm and can last for hours. It’s called a thunderclap headache, because it grabs your attention like a clap of thunder.
* A headache that happens after sex and can range from mild to extremely painful. The headache gets worse when the patient stands, and lessens when the person lies down. This headache is caused by an internal leak of spinal fluid, which extends down from the skull into the spine.
Biller said individuals can reduce their risk of sex headaches by exercising, avoiding excessive alcohol intake, and keeping a healthy weight. Science Daily 6/10/14