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Sexual Headaches Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

What are Sexual Headaches?

Sexual headaches, also known as coital cephalgia, are a rare type of headache that occur in the skull and neck during sexual activity, including masturbation or orgasm.

These headaches are often benign, but should be evaluated by a clinician to rule out intracranial hemorrhage and cerebral infarction, especially if the pain is sudden and severe.

They can occur with sexual activity at any age. It is more common in men than women, with studies putting the gender ratio between 1.2:1 and 3:1.

Causes of Sexual Headaches:

Sexual headaches may be caused by:

  • General exertion,
  • Sexual excitement,
  • Contraction of the neck and facial muscles.
  • Use of certain drugs, including:
  1. Amiodarone
  2. Pseudoephedrine
  3. Birth control pills
  4. Cannabis
  • Sexual activity that leads to orgasm

Sex headaches that come on suddenly are more likely to be associated with:

  • A widening or bubble in the wall of an artery inside your head (intracranial aneurysm)
  • An abnormal connection between arteries and veins in the brain (arteriovenous malformation) that bleeds into the spinal fluid-filled space in and around the brain
  • Bleeding into the wall of an artery leading to the brain (dissection)
  • Stroke
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Inflammation from certain infections

Although sexual headaches can affect anyone, the following factors increase the chances of having sexual headaches:

  •  Obesity
  •  Kneeling position during intercourse
  •  High degree of sexual excitement
  •  Stress
  •  History of migraine and exertion headache
  •  A family history of headache
  •  Occlusive arterial disease.
  •  Being male

Symptoms of Sexual Headaches:

The only symptom of sexual headache is the pain experienced.

There are two types of Sex Headaches:

  • Early coital cephalgia, usually of short duration and moderately severe. It is a tight, cramping, dull pain, often bilateral in the occipital/cervical region, which intensifies as sexual excitement increases.
  • Orgasmic coital cephalgia, which is severe, comes on abruptly and typically lasts 15 to 20 minutes. It can be in the occipital region, behind the eyes, or in a more generalised form and occurs at the point of orgasm. It may be prevented by postponing orgasm.

Diagnosis of Sexual Headaches:

Sexual headaches are diagnosed via the following tests and exams:

  • Medical history
  • Brain imaging
  1. MRI, to help detect the underlying cause of the headache
  2. CT scan
  3. Magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) and computerized tomography (CT) angiography. These tests visualize the blood vessels leading to and inside the brain and neck.
  • Angiograms
  • Spinal tap

Treatment of Sexual Headaches:

The following preventive medications can help treat sexual headaches:

  • Daily medications.

Beta blockers, for example:

  1. propranolol (Inderal, Innopran XL)
  2. metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol-XL)

Used to treat high blood pressure, coronary artery disease and migraines — may be taken daily to prevent sex headaches.

  • Occasional medications.

Indomethacin (Indocin, Tivorbex), an anti-inflammatory, or one of the triptans, a class of anti-migraine medications, can be taken an hour before sex to prevent headaches.

By : Natural Health News

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