Medical Q&As

Headache - during orgasm?

While making love to my wife I start to get a severe headache on the left side of my head just before ejaculation. As I ejaculate the headache reaches its peak. It then subsides after about 30 minutes or so. I have had a CAT scan and it was normal. What could be happening to me?

The fact that you have had a normal CAT scan makes me suspect that you have a condition known as benign coital headache, which is relatively harmless. This type of headache tends to occur before or during orgasm and can persist for some hours after sex. It can affect both men and women. The headache is attributed to contraction of the muscles in the head and neck as climax approaches. It is also thought to be associated with dilatation of blood vessels in the head. The blood vessel dilatation is akin to the process that occurs during migraine and some authorities regard the condition as being a variant of migraine. These headaches can be extremely painful and can be very worrying for sufferers. However benign coital headache is not a threat to health and is not a risk factor for stroke. Sexual intercourse as well as masturbation can trigger the headache. Abstinence from sex for a couple of weeks solves the problem in many cases but occasionally short-term use of medication may be required. Beta-blockers and NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) can be helpful and if needed should be taken approximately one hour before engaging in intercourse. Stress can also be a contributory factor in this condition. The problem tends to resolve over time with or without treatment. Sexual abstinence for a couple of weeks would be a reasonable first step in an attempt to eliminate the headache.