Posts Tagged ‘sexual headache’

Medical Emergency: When Even Masturbation Goes Wrong

November 3, 2008

My friend was telling me that whenever he masturbates, he sometimes gets a headache at the back of his head, and his neck and shoulders hurt and he feels sick. After asking him why he still masturbates, and laughing at my own question, I looked it up and found this:

It sounds like he has an unfortunate case of coital cephalalgia — also known as effort migraine, or sexual headache. Extremely severe and sharp pain behind the eyes is also a symptom. The headaches usually have an immediate onset, with some gradually worsening during intercourse and others (referred to as “explosive headaches“) occurring almost instantaneously at the moment of orgasm. These headaches typically last for a few minutes to a few hours, although it is possible for such headaches to last up to a few days. It is most common for men to experience these headaches for the first time in their early 20s, or between the ages of 35-44; the reason for this is unclear.

More prevalent in men, by a ratio of 3:1, these headaches appear in roughly 1% of the population, though I would think the prevalence to be higher, due to the embarrassment of presenting with the disorder, especially in cases where spontaneous remission occurs after a few days. Up to 10% of patients taking medication for erectile dysfunction may experience these headaches. It’s important to see a doctor if you have such symptoms in order to rule out a potential brain aneurysm, or tumors. In most cases, these headaches are benign. More serious symptoms include a stiff neck, confusion, and dizziness.

As for treatment, the doctor may recommend abstaining from sexual activities and masturbation for a short period of time ranging from a few days to a few weeks. In addition, medications such as propanolol can be taken in advance of sexual activity to prevent such headaches. Losing weight to a more ideal level and increased exercise may also reduce the likelihood of recurrences.

So whatever the state of your sex life, you can take comfort that at least you don’t have this.