Headache During Sex – Causes and Management

Some people experience a dull headache during Sex that increases as the sexual excitement increases. Sometimes the headache has a primary cause but other times it indicates a serious underlying problem.

Location of pain

Pain is felt in head and neck

Duration of pain

Usually lasts only a few minutes but may persist for a few hours to a couple of days.


  • Dull pain in head and neck that increases in intensity
  • Headache is periodic in nature and appear as Cluster Headache, occurring in a pattern for months and then disappearing completely.
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Neck stiffness
  • Muscle weakness
  • Seizures
  • Unconsciousness
  • Partial or complete paralysis

Types of Headache during Sex

People experience two types of Headache during Sex that vary in their nature of occurrence:

  • In first type, a sudden onset of severe pulsating headache is experienced at the time of climax during sexual intercourse. This mostly presents due to exertion as in an Exercise Headache.
  • Second type of headache during Sex begins as dull pain that builds up with increase in sexual excitement and reaches maximum level of intensity by the time of orgasm.

According to some researches, almost all individuals who have Headache during Sex develop its chronic form later in life.


In case of primary Headache during Sex, the pain is just triggered as result of sexual activity that causes muscles in neck and head to get stretched which is the cause of the pain. The headache develop in intensity with increase in sexual excitement.
Headache during Sex that is abrupt in onset is mostly associated with:

  • Increased blood flow to the brain caused by sexual arousal
  • Rupture of an Intracranial aneurysm.
  • Arteriovenous malformation that causes leakiness of blood from vessels into the CSF that surrounds the brain.
  • Inflammation caused due to certain infections
  • Stroke leading to hypoxia
  • Use of contraceptive pills

Risk factors

  • Male sex: Males are more prone to develop these headaches.
  • History of other headache conditions: People who have other headache disorders such as Migraine are more likely to experience this type of headache.


To get to the underlying cause, some of the investigations your doctor might ask you to get done are:

  • An MRI or CT Scan of the brain.
  • A CT Angiography to view the blood vessels in brain.
  • A Spinal tap to ensure if it’s the blood or some sort of infection by testing the sample.


Most people experience a single episode of such headache and might not have it ever again. However, If the headache is occurring frequently you should do something about it.


For people who get a headache at the time of climax can stop the sexual activity just before the orgasm as the headache is triggered due to continuous movement and exertion. Other than that a more passive role during sexual intercourse can also help them avoid a headache.


  • Doctor might suggest some prophylactics if you experience headache upon every intercourse.
  • Indomethacin is given for inflammation.
  • Beta blockers and other antihypertensives are given to lower blood pressure towards brain.

When to consult the doctor

If you start getting Headache during Sex every time you have intercourse and is associated with nausea, vomiting, and other symptoms. Or if it is affecting your sex life, you should immediately see a doctor.


What should I take if i get a headache every time i have sex?

You should take a prophylactic medication to avoid this. Consult a doctor for proper diagnosis.

What are the risk factors for developing a headache during sex?

Male gender and people with previous headache conditions are more likely to develop this.

I have headaches when i have intercourse, doctor advised me to get a spinal tap done, why is it so?

A Spinal tap is performed to get a sample of CSF and find out if there is presence of Blood or any infectious material in it.