All About Sex Headaches and Why You Should See a Doctor If You Get Them

All About Sex Headaches and Why You Should See a Doctor If You Get Them

Feel like your head’s in a vice all of a sudden, after a fabulous romp? You have an actual condition, and it could turn into something more.

You’ve heard the phrase, “Not tonight, honey, I have a headache”. Or maybe that’s just from old TV shows, but anyways, it used to be popular and maybe still is. But how about getting a headache after actually having sex?

Only about 1% of people report getting a headache after having sex, but according to some experts, the actually rate is likely much higher. Many people are embarrassed to admit that it happens, says Dr. José Biller, sex headache specialist and chair of the Department of Neurology with the Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.

If you’re someone who suffers from head pain associated with sexual activity, or maybe you’re simply curious to learn more about it, here’s some info.

Unusual Complications

Sex can cause a headache pre or post orgasm in some people.

It suspected that many people experience some minor pain in their head after or during sex, and usually, while it might be annoying, it’s not much to worry about. In some severe cases though, it can become a major issue. Take Lucinda Allen’s case, for example. Allen, of the UK, has always experienced what she called a “brain freeze” after an orgasm, and never really thought too much of it.

Related: Here’s How Bilingualism Makes You Twice As Likely to Recover From a Stroke

One day though, while pregnant with her daughter, she suffered a major stroke and brain hemorrhage caused by sex, that left her paralyzed on one side of her body. He baby was delivered via C-section and she’s now in a wheelchair.

Common? Not at all. Incredible? Yes.


Experts admit that they don’t know the exact cause of orgasmic headaches, but they think it has to do with pressure in the brain that stretches the blood vessels in a way that’s similar to what happens with migraines. When your blood pressure and heart rate rise during intercourse, if you’re susceptible to sex headaches, you could possibly dissect an artery. It’s not likely, but it seems to be what may have happened in Allen’s unusual case.

Related: Older Women Who Get More of This Have Better Sex: Study


Sex can cause a headache pre or post orgasm in some people.

Some people get a sex headache before having an orgasm and others after the fact. Pre-orgasm headaches tend to be less painful and slow-growing. Pain can start in the neck, jaw and head and build bit by bit.

Those who have one caused by the orgasm itself have what’s called a thunderclap headache- it comes on all of a sudden. And it can hurt like *&%$.


There doesn’t appear to be a direct cure for this condition, but if you suffer from it, definitely see a doctor to talk about it, as it could be a symptom of an underlying issue. You want to protect your brain. Some doctors might prescribe an anti-inflammatory to lessen the pain. Taking things slowly in sex can also help, and not exerting “unusual force” to reach orgasm. Apparently the condition can lessen with age too, which can be a good thing.

For more information on sex headaches, click here.

Photo credits: AndreyPopov/Bigstock; gstockstudio/Bigstock;DMPhoto/Bigstock


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