In rare instances, sex headaches can be caused by sexual activity, especially with orgasm, and can significantly impact your sex life. 

Some people may experience a gradual, dull ache in the head and around the neck, while others might encounter a sudden and severe headache right before or during orgasm.

Most sex headaches are nothing to worry about. But some can be a sign of something serious, such as problems with the blood vessels that feed the brain. 

These headaches can be treated with over-the-counter painkillers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen. But, you should consult a medical professional if you have had symptoms. 

Sex headaches: Symptoms

There are two types of sex headaches: 

  1. Orgasm headache: A sudden, severe, throbbing pain in your head before or during sexual release. 
  2. Sexual benign headache: A dull pain in the head and neck that builds up as you become more sexually aroused, leading to a painful headache. 

Sex headaches usually last several minutes, but in some cases, they can last for hours or even up to three days. They can also occur as a one-time attack or in clusters over a few months. 

Sex headaches: Cause

Sex headaches can occur at any stage of sexual activity, and it is important to note that the two types have distinct causes. 

A benign sexual headache arises from the heightened sexual excitement, leading to muscle contractions in the head and neck, resulting in head pain. 

In contrast, an orgasm headache is triggered by a surge in blood pressure, causing blood vessels to dilate. Movement exacerbates orgasm headaches.

Sex headaches: Treatment

Since sex headaches usually aren’t associated with an underlying condition, most of the time, taking an over-the-counter pain reliever should be enough to ease symptoms. 

Moreover, you should always consult a medical professional before taking medication just in case there is an underlying cause as to why the headaches are occurring.

Sex headaches: Prevention

To minimize the risk of sex headaches, consider refraining from sex before reaching climax. Additionally, maintaining a relaxed and calm state during sexual activity may also aid in preventing headaches, enabling your body to build up to orgasm gradually.

Sex headaches: When to see your doctor

Usually, sex headaches are normal, but sometimes they can be symptoms of an underlying condition. So, you should ask your doctor if it's your first ever headache or if it begins abruptly. 

You should also see a doctor if you experience:

  • Seizures
  • Vomiting
  • Stiff neck
  • Muscle weakness
  • Partial or complete paralysis
  • Loss of consciousness or sensation
  • Severe pain that lasts more than 24 hours