Headache Relief: Sex Works as well as Painkillers

Sex and Headache Relief

Researchers found that sexual activity can help cure your headache and can be more effective than using pain killers. ‘I have a headache’ can no longer be used as an excuse to not make love to your partner.

More than half of migraine sufferers who had sex during a migraine or cluster headache, experienced an improvement in their symptoms after sexual activity.

“Our results show that sexual activity during a migraine attack might relieve or even stop an attack in some cases, and that sexual activity in the presence of headache is not an unusual behaviour,” the researchers said. “Sex can abort migraine and cluster headache attacks, and sexual activity is used by some patients as acute headache treatment.”

Their research, reported in Cephalalgia, the journal of the International Headache Society suggested that sex triggers the release of endorphin’s which are the body’s natural painkillers through the central nervous system, which can reduce, or even eliminate, a headache.

Scans have shown that the hypothalamus region of the brain is active during a cluster headache; the same area that shows activity during orgasm.

In their research, titled “The impact of sexual activity on idiopathic headaches: An observational study”, the team of neurologists investigated whether sex can trigger headaches as it was once thought to do.

In the study done at the University of Munster in Germany, neurologists collected data by sending an anonymous questionnaire to 800 random migraine patients and 200 similar cluster headache sufferers. Of those, 60 percent of migraine patients and 36 percent of men and women with cluster headaches had an improvement in symptoms after sexual activity during a headache attack.

“In total, 42.7 percent of all migraine patients experienced at least 50 percent relief, a response rate as high as in studies on acute medication,” said the researchers.

Consultant neurologist Dr Nick Silver, of the NHS Walton Center for Neuroscience and Neurosurgery in Liverpool, said: “This is a preliminary study, limiting conclusions that can be reached. We can now say, however, that the excuse of “not tonight, I have a headache” may not be taken seriously by all sexual partners.”

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