If you've just listened to the Sex Pistols' only studio album, "Never Mind the Bollocks," and your head is pounding like a jackhammer, could you say you have a sex headache? Nope. That little understood side effect of sexual activity has nothing to do with listening to a head-banging band.
The truth about sex and headaches is elusive: Around 1 percent of folks admit that arousal or orgasm gives them a headache, but experts think most people are too embarrassed to 'fess up and that the actual rate is much higher. And contrary to the stereotype, men are three to four times more likely to get hit with the passion-killing pain than women are.
A sex-related headache is rarely a sign of an underlying health problem, but if you get one, you should see your doc to rule out triggers such as infection, brain aneurism, stroke or a tear in the lining of a neck artery. Usually, these headaches are tied to tension, a predisposition to migraine, exertion, obesity, taking a kneeling position during intercourse, your degree of sexual excitement or to the use of marijuana, amyl nitrite, amphetamines, certain anti-anxiety drugs, and the erectile dysfunction medication sildenafil.
Treatment includes going slow (never a bad tactic) or trying anti-migraine meds called triptans. For frequent or prolonged attacks, your doc may add anti-hypertension medication.
But don't opt for abstinence as a solution: A mutually enjoyable sexual relationship relieves stress, strengthens your heart and soul, and protects your brain.
© King Features Syndicate