Ask any man or woman, and they’ll definitely agree that the pleasure obtained from sexual intercourse is euphoric (unless they’re asexual, of course). The primary reason behind this is because sex releases a stream of ‘feel good’ hormones within your body that can provide stress relief and strengthen your immune system, amongst other health benefits.
Interestingly enough, sex has also been touted as an effective relief for migraines and its accompanying symptoms. Let’s dive in a little deeper.
Relief and Pleasure Go Hand-in-Hand
According to a study conducted by Stefan Evers, a neurologist at the University of Münster in Germany, sexual intercourse was found to be successful in treating migraines by providing either a partial or complete alleviation of the pain suffered. The study looked at 800 individuals with migraines, and 200 individuals with cluster headaches.
The results were astounding! 60 percent of individuals studied for migraines were found to have found some form of pain relief after sex, while 37 percent of the individuals studied for cluster headaches were also found to experience similar effects.
Fortune Does Not Always Favour The Sexually Active
Unfortunately, others in the study did not feel the same way, as one-third of these individuals had reported that their pain actually worsened after sex. To date, there is no conclusive evidence as to why this is so, though a couple of relatively convincing theories have emerged in recent times. The first being the physical strain that it can cause your body. Similar to exercise, sex is a physical activity, which can sometimes exert pressure on an individual’s back and neck. Besides that, sex can also increase blood pressure and cause an individual’s cerebral blood vessels to dilate, in turn triggering a migraine attack.
And Mark W. Green, MD, a professor of neurology, anesthesiology, and rehabilitation medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine in Mount Sinai, New York has supporting inferences to back this theory which coincides with the aforementioned narrative. According to Dr. Green, headaches during sex are most apparent in individuals who suffer from migraines because of one simple factor – a genetic predisposition to develop headaches.
Dr. Green claims that sex can cause three different type of headaches – explosive, tension, and positional headaches. Explosive headaches refer to headaches that occur when an individual orgasms, and has similar symptoms as to that of a brain haemorrhage. A tension headache, on the other hand, is a result of stress, and usually goes away after 20 minutes. Positional headaches are often mild in nature, and can go away after 24 hours, but can sometimes be difficult to diagnose if it is caused by an epidural or spinal surgery.
However, Alexander Mauskop, neurologist and Director of the New York Headache Centre, did offer an alternate theory. He claimed that achieving orgasms can enable the release of ‘feel-good’ hormones known as endorphins, which could help in reducing the pain. These hormones are also dubbed as the human body’s pain killer. But this theory did come with a complexity of its own, as it also birthed the finding that certain individuals with migraines do not actually like physical contact due to sensitivity towards light, sound and touch.
So, Can I Have Sex to Relieve Migraine?
In short, yes, headaches can be relieved by the release of endorphins through the body. Based on various extensive studies, a majority of respondents feel the same way. But if sex does not work for you, try incorporating other activities that can help to release endorphins, such as exercise or indulging in laughter.
If sex does indeed work for you, then you owe it to yourself to live a migraine-free life with lots of healthy sexual intercourse. However, it is important to note that intercourse is not considered a clinically verified treatment or solution for migraine as its symptoms may vary across individuals. Therefore, it is essential to seek advice from a neurologist for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.