Toihah

Study

Turns Out “I Have a Headache” is a Real Excuse

Hayley Matthews
Hayley Matthews Updated:
Discuss This! Discuss This!
Advertiser Disclosure

The common headache is a frequent excuse for avoiding sexual activity, at least in sitcoms, but a new study has targeted some very real sexual headaches, ones that for their sufferers, are nothing to laugh at.

Some men and women experience moderate to intense headaches during sexual activity, with some worsening as orgasm approaches and lasting for hours after.

These “thunderclap headaches,” along with two other varieties, are described by researchers in a new study and are now thought to be much more common than previously believed.

Dr. Jose Biller, neurological surgeon and head of the neurology department at Loyola University, led the study.

The three distinct types of sexual headaches

The first begins before orgasm and is similar to a tension headache, with a dull ache in the neck and upper head. It typically intensifies in tandem with sexual arousal, essentially climaxing with the climax and lingering thereafter.

With the second thunderclap, the pain is more severe and only begins at orgasm, continuing sometimes for hours after, according to the researchers.

The third presents itself after sex, with pain ranging from mild to extreme. Sufferers have described needing to remain in bed when hit with this one, as standing usually intensifies the pain.

The scientific terms for these are coital cephalalgia, orgasmic cephalagia and the benign coital headache.

“These headaches are much more

common than previously believed.”

Who is affected?

Previously it’s been estimated only 1 percent of the population experience any of the three. However, Biller believe most cases simply go unreported.

Dr. Jose Biller

Dr. Jose Biller
Loyola University

“Many people who experience headaches during sexual activity are too embarrassed to tell their physicians, and doctors often don’t ask,” Biller said in a press statement.

Most headaches during sex are benign, but Biller said they can sometimes be a secondary effect of another health concern.

Anything from a brain aneurysm to a subdural hematoma can prompt one, as can a stroke.

“We recommend that patients undergo a thorough neurological evaluation to rule out secondary causes, which can be life-threatening,” he said, adding that it’s most important when the headache is a first-time occurrence.

Photo sources: eurekalert.org, philly.com

Advertiser Disclosure

DatingAdvice.com is a free online resource that offers valuable content and comparison services to users. To keep this resource 100% free, we receive compensation from many of the offers listed on the site. Along with key review factors, this compensation may impact how and where products appear across the site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). DatingAdvice.com does not include the entire universe of available offers. Editorial opinions expressed on the site are strictly our own and are not provided, endorsed, or approved by advertisers.

Our Editorial Review Policy

Our site is committed to publishing independent, accurate content guided by strict editorial guidelines. Before articles and reviews are published on our site, they undergo a thorough review process performed by a team of independent editors and subject-matter experts to ensure the content’s accuracy, timeliness, and impartiality. Our editorial team is separate and independent of our site’s advertisers, and the opinions they express on our site are their own. To read more about our team members and their editorial backgrounds, please visit our site’s About page.