Imagine, for a moment, that you’re having really hot sex – your heart is racing, you’re panting with anticipation and your entire body is shaking with pleasure. Suddenly, right at the moment of orgasm instead of blissful satisfaction, you’re stuck with an intense, blinding headache. I recently learned of this condition and frankly it horrifies the hell out of me, as I’ve suffered from migraines for years and couldn’t possibly imagine havincoitag one of my least favorite things brought on by one of my absolute favorites.
These orgasm-induced headaches, also known as coital cephalagia, occur in approximately 1% of the population with onset between the early 30s and latter 40s. For unknown reason, they are about three times more prevalent in men, especially those with a history of migraine headaches or those on medication for erectile dysfunction.
Sexual headaches are classified into three different types. The most common is sudden onset, which refers to a severe, throbbing headache that occurs before, during or immediately following an orgasm. This type of headache usually lasts several miserable post coital hours. The next type is the subacute, crescendo headache, which accounts for about 25% of all coital cephalagia. They have a slower onset, mirroring the intensity of the build of the orgasm. The pain is more of a dull ache in the back of the head, and may be accompanied by nausea. The least common type is the postdural headache, which is a sharp pain in the lower back of the head that worsens when the sufferer stands or walks. This type has the most in common with the tradition migraine, as it is most likely to cause nausea and vomiting.
Scientists are unsure of the exact cause of this condition, though they speculate that it might have something to do with muscle contraction or rising blood pressure during sexual activity, overly sensitive blood vessels in the brain or intense emotional stress. While beta-blockers and anti-migraine drugs have proven to be effective in reducing the occurrence of orgasm headaches, they must be taken one to two hours before sexual activity.
On the bright side, it appears that sex can actually help cure migraine headaches. Dr. Randolph W. Evans and Dr. James R. Couch of South Illinois University found that more than half of the women in their study experienced some relief after having sexual intercourse with a migraine, with 20% reporting complete relief.
The research team is unsure of the exact correlation between sex and migraine relief, though they speculate that it might be due to the post coital release of endorphins, dopamine and oxytocin or the possible stimulation of the nerves that lower the pain experienced during childbirth.
In addition to migraine pain relief, orgasms are also known to increase blood circulation, give the heart a workout, alleviate stress and flood the brain with much-needed oxygen… as if we needed more reasons to have orgasms!
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