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15 Feb 2013

coital cephalgia
Dr Shevel,
I am a 30 yrs old female. I have a 15yrs old history of headache. They are primarily caused due to strain on neck and on other times due to constipation, weakness and stress as well. Though i have never got it treated properly but i have received short term treatments and take care of my health, eating, and seating or working postures.
Occasionally, i had experienced a headache after an orgasm during masturbation. This had happened only a couple of times.
I have recently got married, and after about 20-25 days of marriage i started getting a usual headache anytime of the day that would last for the whole and sometimes become very severe. At the time of foreplay my head started feeling very heavy in initial days. But from past 15-20 days, i''ve been getting this very severe, piercing headache right at the time of orgasm, or just before it. The pain is so severe that I have to discontinue the activity, and I am lying helplessly holding my head for the next 15minutes not able to do anything. The pain is unbearable. I believe this is increasing everytime. And then for the whole next day my head feels heavy with a moderate pain most of the times. I searched internet and came to know of coital cephalgia. I''m looking for a good doctor in my locality. Meanwhile I would like to know your take on this. Also, do tell me which specialist shall i approach.. gynae..neuro..sexologist?
Any help or advice in this matter will be highly appreciated.
Thanks a lot.
Answer 2,033 views
Headache expert
Headache expert

01 Jan 0001

Dear Arq,

My apologies for not answering sooner – we have had problems with our server.

Headaches can certainly be associated with sexual activity, especially with orgasm. There are two types of these headaches. In the first type, the excitement accompanying intercourse causes muscle contraction in the head and neck, thus leading to head pain.

The second type is a vascular headache. It is a very intense, severe headache usually occurring just before orgasm. It has been called an "orgasmic headache" or "orgasmic cephalalgia." In some instances, the headache is a response to an increase in blood pressure, causing the blood vessels to dilate. This headache is not usually related to the amount of physical exertion involved in intercourse. The pain may be located around or behind the eyes. It usually lasts a few minutes, but can last for hours. The headache is usually made worse by movement. The headache most often is a "benign" (not dangerous) orgasmic headache; however, the possibility of some other underlying problem disease should be thoroughly investigated. The benign orgasmic headache occurs more frequently in men than women and usually, but not exclusively, strikes migraine sufferers.

It is important to have a thorough medical check-up, including a neurological investigation to exclude the possibility of brain pathology. Fortunately this is not common, but it must be ruled out before any other treatment is instituted. Once this has been done, to get to the root of the problem you need what is called a “multidisciplinary” approach. This must include an assessment of the tension in the head and neck muscles. There are many different structures in the head and neck, all of which can be involved in the headache process, and no single specialist has all the knowledge necessary to make a comprehensive assessment and diagnosis. For this reason, the combined expertise of different specialists who would normally treat headache patients in isolation, is co-ordinated into a single more comprehensive body of knowledge. This enables a more comprehensive treatment plan, in which all the contributing factors are addressed.

People who sufferer from orgasmic headache often have a poor Quality of Life. For a free assessment of how your headaches are affecting your Quality of Life, click on

This information has been supplied and checked by the multidisciplinary team of specialists at The Headache Clinic, in association with The International Headache Society and the South African Institute of Headache and Migraine Science. For consultation with these specialists, call The Headache Clinic on 0861 678 911.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.