Not tonight, I've got a headache- for real.
December 10, 2011 8:01 AM   Subscribe

Another orgasm headache question.

I've seen a few questions here and articles on the internet about orgasm headaches, but none of them quite match what happens to me.
About 2 years ago, I started getting these headaches, but only once or twice a year.
This past month, I've been getting one every time I'm "on the road" to an orgasm. The pain is literally like a crown around my head- it goes around the back of my head, above my ears, and that's where it hurts the most- it's a sharp, pulsating pain that hurts like HELL. I also feel it in the temples.
Yesterday's was the worst- the pain was awful, but by stopping and starting a few times, I managed to reach orgasm. But the pain afterwards was staggering, and today, over 24 hours later, it's still there. Not nearly as bad as yesterday, not even bad enough to take something for it (yesterday I took about 6 Extra-strength Tylenol), but I can still feel it.

Can anyone relate to this? Is there anything that can be done? I'd hate to think that I'd have to give up orgasms for the rest of my life- that's a very depressing thought.
posted by shelayna to Health & Fitness (10 answers total)
Be careful with the Tylenol - any more than 3000mg in 24 hours can do life threatening damage to your liver. This sounds like a circulatory issue/migraine to me - I'd go talk to a doctor and maybe end up trying something like beta blockers. Do you get migraines or other headaches at other times? Sounds scary and miserable.
posted by leslies at 8:21 AM on December 10, 2011 [2 favorites]

Maybe it's blood pressure or circulation related. Heck it could be as simple as sinus pressure. I get bad headaches if I exercise while my sinuses are acting up. Caffeine can help with some headachy pain as it helps open up the circulation. Go see a doctor there is lots they can do with Blood Pressure or migraines and the like so it would be well worth going to see one.
posted by wwax at 8:34 AM on December 10, 2011

I'm wondering if it's a tension type headache. Tension headaches feel like your head is being squeezed, and they generally start in the back of your head/neck and move up and over your head. What kind of position is your neck in while you're in the midst of the action (awkward position on pillows? no neck support at all?)? Are you tensing up your neck or shoulder muscles? What if things started out with a little neck/shoulder massage? Do you carry lots of stress/tension in your shoulders?

I'm totally guessing here, but if you carry tension around like I do it's something to consider.
posted by MultiFaceted at 8:56 AM on December 10, 2011

Increasing amounts of pain in your head, regardless of the reason, is a no-brainer (*cough*) physician visit. Even experts cannot diagnose you over the internet with the symptoms you have.
posted by Rodrigo Lamaitre at 8:56 AM on December 10, 2011 [2 favorites]

This has definitely happened to me, and I'm a young, college-aged male. I remember getting migraines off and on for about a year, and them pretty consistently (every single orgasm) for about a month. It got to a point where I had to see my doctor -- literally, I had instances where I nearly blacked out.

I ended up (at the advice of my doctor, who had seen this before) waiting it out, as there was nothing wrong with my blood pressure, and on the whole, I'm a pretty healthy guy. Things did get better (currently, I haven't had a migraine in about a year), but unfortunately it took several weeks of not having sex/masturbating.

Anyway, I'm really sorry you're going through this -- it's fucking terrible. Go see your doctor for good measure, but you're probably just going to have to give it time.
posted by lobbyist at 9:06 AM on December 10, 2011

Do you get the headaches when you exercise too? I had this issue years ago, I took a pill for a couple of weeks (maybe Amitriptyline??), the headaches went away within days. My doctor said that it might come back in a few years (and respond to the same treatment) but nothing yet (and like i said it's been years, plenty of orgasms and exercise since).

So yeah, talk to your doctor ASAP.
posted by soy bean at 9:09 AM on December 10, 2011

1) Check your blood pressure--I had this happen and was surprised to see that I had somewhat elevated blood pressure, when previously it'd always been low (and I was young and relatively active at the time.)
2) Mine stopped after I went 17 days without any sexual activity (masturbation or otherwise) and hasn't returned in close to 3 years. I'm given to believe sometimes this just happens. (17 days just happened to be the time until I had a doctor's appointment to figure out what was up--I figured I should make sure the problem was still happening before I went in to the appointment, and voila--it had stopped.)
3) My doctor wasn't especially helpful with this, although my headaches did not last more than...12 hours? And she might have been more concerned if it hadn't gone away. This is NOT to say that you shouldn't see a doctor, just be forewarned.
4) I have an odd feeling that eating more stuff with MSG might have been related, for me.
posted by needs more cowbell at 11:12 AM on December 10, 2011

Make sure you are not dehydrated when you have sex. Had you had any alcoholic beverages beforehand? Are you on any kind of hormonal birth control? If you are you should definitely check in with your gynecologist or local planned parenthood clinic. Oh yeah, and that sounds like a lot of tylenol, have you tried advil?
posted by mareli at 4:26 PM on December 10, 2011

I sometimes get headaches that sound similar. I have found that hanging upside-down/standing on my head helps the pain go away faster.
posted by tinamonster at 4:06 PM on December 11, 2011

This is how my migraines first manifested--big swings in blood pressure would set them off, and that's a textbook big-change-in-blood-pressure.

That's the bad news. The goods news is, migraines are eminently treatable. Get yourself a referral to a neurologist, and s/he will prescribe you with something for acute attacks, and possibly something for daily maintenance. I was on a low-dose of nortriptyline for about two years, before I got lazy and forgot to refill the prescription and then discovered that the problem had mostly gone away on its own.
posted by Mayor West at 6:02 AM on December 12, 2011

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