Why do I sometimes get a headache after an orgasm?
February 11, 2008 6:19 AM   Subscribe

Once in awhile, I get a short-lived pounding headache immediately after coming. It usually happens after a really big one. Yesterday the headache was all around my skull, in the back and top and everything. Why oh why?
posted by pieliza to Health & Fitness (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

I get headaches when coming to work, but not when coming home.

Oh...THAT coming! Are you male or female? (I'm going to assume male). DO you drink enough water? I used to get awful post-orgasm headaches. The headaches went away when I started drinking proper amounts (for me, about 80oz of water/day) of fluids (read...drinking more than a single glass of liquid in a day).
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 6:28 AM on February 11, 2008

Wrong assumption, CPH.
posted by nebulawindphone at 6:31 AM on February 11, 2008

Had the same problem a while back, it sounds like coital headaches, or 'thunderclap' headaches. The headaches are usually a symptom of another change in your life, such as quitting caffeine or smoking or something similar. Go to your doctor to get properly diagnosed, of course, and if it's that he/she can prescribe a painkiller for a couple of weeks to cure the problem, just to get your body over the hump of whatever is triggering the headaches. Drinking more water will never hurt either. If your health plan will cover it, also ask for an MRI to ensure that it's not something more serious. Again, go see a doctor to get a proper diagnosis, I'm only speaking from my experience.
posted by tjbarrett at 6:43 AM on February 11, 2008

Oh wow. Don't I feel like a dolt. Sorry for the misappropriated gender assumption.
Seriously, and sheepishly backing away slowly.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 6:51 AM on February 11, 2008

Headache during coitus may be classified as one of three types, depending on onset:

Early coital cephalgia, which is usually moderate and of short duration
Orgasmic coital cephalgia, which is abrupt, severe, and lasts 15 to 20 minutes
Late coital cephalgia, which is of long duration (hours to days) and which occurs after orgasmic coital cephalgia

From this rather good review article that covers all the ground.
posted by roofus at 8:00 AM on February 11, 2008

You might also be holding your breath without realizing it. Try a big exhale or yelling next time and see if that helps.
posted by rmless at 8:18 AM on February 11, 2008

..preferably yelling. :-)
posted by MarkLark at 8:54 AM on February 11, 2008

I had this for about 2-3 years following a sinus infection. Dental problems made it much worse. AFAIK an orgasm dilates the veins, which can cause migraine-type symptoms. Herbal tablets like Feverfew could help.
posted by Black Spring at 10:24 AM on February 11, 2008

I had that problem a few years ago, and it went away on its own. I don't suggest that you simply hope that it goes away on its own, but, you know, the problem isn't exclusive to you. It happens. It sucks. Good luck.
posted by entropone at 10:52 AM on February 11, 2008

[IB's wife] I had these for about six months. It seemed to be linked to a birth control change.
posted by InnocentBystander at 11:53 AM on February 11, 2008

Oh my god. I don't even want to think about how bad mine were.

It was just skull shattering pain which started at the base of my skull and went up. Shooting, stabbing, awful, awful, awful. Worst headache I've ever had.

Thankfully this only happened maybe half a dozen times a few years back. I wasn't taking really good care of myself nutritionally and I think in general I wasn't drinking enough water daily. Also the person I was having this problem with was causing a lot of stress for me in general, so that may have had something to do with it.

I guess I don't have an specific point other than to commiserate. I'm really sorry for anyone else who is dealing with this.
posted by wfrgms at 11:59 AM on February 11, 2008

A close friend of mine had the same problem. She went to the doctor and the solution was - no more BC pills. She no longer gets the headaches!
posted by pazazygeek at 12:26 PM on February 11, 2008

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