Does Intercourse Ease Migraine Assaults or Set off Them?


It’s an age-old excuse: “Not tonight, honey. I’ve a headache.” However the subsequent time you are feeling an precise migraine assault approaching, intercourse is likely to be the very best treatment.

Sound too good to be true? Analysis backs up this assertion: One research discovered that 60 % of people that had intercourse throughout a migraine assault skilled some enchancment of their headache signs. One other 33 %, although, reported worse signs after they had intercourse throughout a migraine assault.

These differing reactions to intercourse throughout a migraine assault present that whereas sexual exercise could also be a balm for some, it’s not going to assist everybody with migraine. The truth is, for some folks, intercourse could even set off a migraine assault or one other type of headache.

Listed below are some components you must contemplate in case you’re making an attempt to determine if intercourse might be useful, or is likely to be a contributor, in the case of your migraine assaults.

How Intercourse May Ease or Worsen Migraine Ache

One concept for why sexual exercise can assist throughout a migraine assault is that intercourse could distract folks from their ache. One other is that intercourse — particularly, an orgasm — releases endorphins, which may additionally assist relieve ache, says Alexander Mauskop, MD, a neurologist and headache specialist who’s director and founding father of the New York Headache Middle in New York Metropolis.

Endorphins are opiate-like chemical substances which can be related to a cheerful, constructive feeling and may hold ache messages from reaching the mind, Dr. Mauskop explains. In contrast to ache remedy, which may take as much as quarter-hour to kick in, these chemical substances can work virtually immediately.

However some folks aren’t as fortunate. Like train, intercourse is a bodily exercise that may put strain on an individual’s again and neck, doubtlessly bringing on a migraine assault. Plus, intercourse can enhance blood strain and trigger dilation (widening) of blood vessels within the mind, which may additionally set off an assault.

“Complications throughout intercourse are most frequently seen in folks with migraine as a result of these folks have a genetic predisposition to develop complications already,” says Mark W. Inexperienced, MD, a professor of neurology, anesthesiology, and rehabilitation medication and emeritus director of the Middle for Headache and Ache Medication on the Icahn Faculty of Medication at Mount Sinai in New York Metropolis.

On this sense, intercourse could also be a migraine set off like some other — one thing that places your mind out of its strange state, resulting in migraine signs, particularly when different migraine triggers are at play in a given particular person.

Intercourse Can Set off Totally different Headache Varieties

When intercourse or an orgasm immediately causes a headache, that’s often called a intercourse headache, in keeping with the Mayo Clinic. A intercourse headache can develop in somebody with or with out migraine, and might be introduced on by any kind of sexual exercise.

In response to Dr. Inexperienced, intercourse could cause at the least two several types of complications which can be distinct from a migraine assault — an explosive headache or a stress headache. In an individual with migraine, although, each of those headache varieties can result in a migraine assault.

The commonest kind of headache triggered by intercourse is an explosive headache, which usually happens proper earlier than or on the level of orgasm and entails sudden, extreme ache. Anybody who experiences any such headache for the primary time ought to discuss to a medical skilled instantly after the incident to rule out a cerebral hemorrhage (mind bleed) or different mind damage as the reason for the headache, says Inexperienced.

A stress headache — normally brought on by stress, together with stress that’s introduced on by the act of intercourse — feels extra constrictive and normally goes away inside 20 minutes. It might construct up slowly throughout sexual exercise and linger after sexual exercise has stopped.

Most intercourse complications final for only some minutes, however they will additionally linger for hours and even two to 3 days, the Mayo Clinic notes.

Intercourse complications typically occur on a recurring foundation for greater than a yr, in keeping with the American Migraine Basis. In case your physician guidelines out different potential causes of a headache that happens throughout sexual exercise, a intercourse headache could also be handled utilizing sure medication, together with indomethacin, triptans, and propranolol. Discuss to your physician in regards to the potential dangers and advantages of various therapies for a intercourse headache.

Tips about Navigating Intercourse for Individuals With Migraine

The connection between migraine assaults and sexual exercise is totally different for each particular person with migraine. Relying in your state of affairs, listed below are some suggestions that would assist enhance your intercourse life or ease your migraine ache.

  • Talk about migraine therapies along with your physician. Whether or not intercourse helps ease your ache or triggers a headache, making an attempt a brand new remedy could assist you expertise fewer disagreeable signs.
  • Talk along with your associate. Letting your associate know what works for you sexually — or the way you’re feeling when you’ll be able to’t have intercourse — could result in options or higher understanding if you’re having migraine ache.
  • Schedule intercourse for if you’re feeling nicely. For those who’re having a day or streak of days freed from migraine ache, contemplate profiting from the state of affairs to have intercourse.
  • Experiment with sexual actions. It’s potential that whereas sure sexual actions or sexual positions trigger or worsen headache or migraine ache, different actions could also be extra tolerable and even soothing.
  • Take into account seeing a intercourse or relationship therapist. If migraine is taking a toll in your relationship or intercourse life, a therapist might be able to assist you and your associate enhance your state of affairs.

Needless to say intercourse is just one potential set off — or treatment — for a migraine assault. Discuss to your physician about different methods to assist hold migraine ache at bay.

Extra reporting by Quinn Phillips.

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