Sex headaches

Sex headaches are brought on by sexual activity — especially an orgasm. You may notice a dull ache in your head and neck that builds up as sexual excitement increases. Or, more commonly, you may experience a sudden, severe headache just 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 your brain.

Symptoms Causes Risk factors Prevention

There are two types of sex headaches. The most common variety:

  • Gives no warning and occurs within a few seconds of an orgasm
  • Is often described as throbbing or stabbing

The other variety of sex headache:

  • Often begins as a dull ache on both sides of the head
  • May cause tightening of the neck and jaw muscles
  • Builds gradually over a matter of minutes before an orgasm
  • Intensifies as sexual excitement increases

Most sex headaches last at least several minutes. Others may linger for a few hours. Many people who have sex headaches will experience them in clusters over a few months and then go for a year or more without having any sex headaches.

When to see a doctor

Sex headaches aren't usually a cause for concern. But consult your doctor right away if you experience a headache during sexual activity — especially if it begins abruptly or it's your first headache of this type.

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