Results showed that about a third of patients engaged in sexual activity during a migraine or cluster headache. It's not clear that sex was the only reason that mattered in that study. Still others report sex with orgasm triggered migraine headaches , but this is thought to be rare. If a person with a torn dura were to rise from a reclined position, the loss of fluid would cause his or her brain to sag, which would trigger a positional headache. Archives of Sexual Behavior, August
Evers suspects the bodies of those who experienced complete pain relief from migraines may be more likely to release endorphins during sex. A cluster headache can begin as a severe, sudden headache often around the same time of the day you had the last one. Some women say they have less migraines when they are pregnant. One holds that sex, especially an orgasm, releases certain chemicals in the brain that work to alleviate a migraine; the other holds that sex can actually cause a headache by increasing blood pressure and causing a dilation of the cerebral blood vessels. The finding, published in the March issue of the journal Cephalalgia, found that sexual activity relieved the pain of migraines or cluster headaches, severe, one-sided recurring head pains, for up to a third of patients. The exertion puts pressure on both the back and the neck, which can provoke a migraine in people prone to headaches. Journal of Headache and Pain, published online Jan. Having sex more often may help. Patients were asked to complete a questionnaire about their sexual activity during their headache episodes and write how sex affected the pain. Endorphins, which are opiate-like chemicals, are associated with a happy, positive feeling and keep pain messages from reaching the brain. If that's you, know that changes in hormone levels right before your period often trigger headaches. Journal of the American Medical Association, April 7, To see whether this phenomenon was borne out on a larger scale, Evers and his colleagues sent patients who had migraines and patients with cluster headaches a questionnaire about their experiences with sexual activity during headache attacks, and how sex affected the pain intensity. Many stimuli, from sunlight to lightning, can trigger migraines. Talk It Out Communication is at the heart of sex, Monteith says. Indeed, a large-scale study suggests that sex is particularly useful in treating migraines and cluster headaches. Email Having sex may be the solution to curing a splitting headache. It's not clear that sex was the only reason that mattered in that study. They happen more often in men than women and may run in families. You'll have to do your own experimenting to find out whether sex has any effect on your migraines. Sex, like exercise, is a physical activity, however, which for some migraine sufferers can trigger an attack. Other studies have shown that sex can alleviate migraines, but the studies were done on a smaller scale. Two common ones, however—tension headaches and the infamously impossible-to-ease migraine—can be banished by sex. Biological Psychology, April Besides being a great way to raise your heart rate, sex helps keep your estrogen and testosterone levels in balance.
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