Orgasm Migraine: Understanding the Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Orgasm is a natural and pleasurable occurrence for many individuals. It usually brings a sense of relaxation and satisfaction. However, for some people, it may trigger an excruciating headache, known as an orgasm migraine. Orgasm migraines are a kind of headache that starts shortly before, during, or after orgasm. In this article, we will discuss what orgasm migraines are, what causes them, how they are diagnosed, and how they can be treated.

What are Orgasm Migraines?

Orgasm migraines, also known as “coital cephalalgia,” are a type of headache that affects some people during sexual activity. It is a severe, throbbing headache that usually lasts for a few minutes to a few hours. In some cases, it can last for up to two days. The pain can be felt on one or both sides of the head and may be accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound.

What Causes Orgasm Migraines?

The exact cause of orgasm migraines is not understood. However, some doctors believe that the headache occurs due to the sudden release of neurotransmitters and hormones associated with sexual activity. These substances can cause the blood vessels in the brain to widen or narrow, leading to a headache.

Orgasm migraines can also be caused by other factors, including:

  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Dehydration
  • Sinus congestion
  • Head trauma
  • High blood pressure
  • Use of drugs or alcohol

How are Orgasm Migraines Diagnosed?

It is vital to seek medical attention if you experience headaches during or after sexual activity. A doctor or a headache specialist may need to conduct a physical examination and ask you about your medical history and lifestyle habits. The diagnosis may require further testing, including blood tests, CT scans, or MRIs.

In some cases, the headache may require a spinal tap to rule out other underlying conditions. A spinal tap involves removing cerebrospinal fluid from the spinal cord using a needle.

How are Orgasm Migraines Treated?

Orgasm migraines can be treated using various medications and lifestyle changes as recommended by a doctor or specialist. The primary treatment aims to prevent the headache from occurring and reducing the severity and intensity of the pain when it occurs. Below are some common treatments for orgasm migraines:

1. Pain Relievers

Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as aspirin or ibuprofen, can be used to manage the pain. Prescription pain relievers, such as triptans, beta-blockers, and antidepressants, may be prescribed for severe cases.

2. Lifestyle Changes

Lifestyle changes may help to prevent or reduce the occurrence of orgasm migraines. These include:

  • Reducing stress and anxiety by engaging in relaxation techniques such as yoga, deep breathing, and meditation.
  • Ensuring you are adequately hydrated before sexual activity.
  • Avoiding alcohol consumption before and during sexual activity.
  • Getting enough sleep and rest before engaging in sexual activity.
  • Ensuring that the room is quiet and free from distractions.
  • Using a water-based lubricant to prevent discomfort during sexual activity.
  • Taking frequent breaks during sexual activity to prevent excessive physical strain.

3. Medical Interventions

Medical interventions, such as nerve block injections or triptan infusions, may be prescribed for more severe cases. These interventions are usually prescribed by headache specialists and should only be administered in a medical setting.

4. Hormonal Therapy

Hormonal therapy may be prescribed for women who experience headaches associated with their menstrual cycle. The therapy involves using hormonal birth control pills to regulate hormones that may cause the headache.


Orgasm migraines can be a discomforting condition that affects an individual’s sexual experience. These headaches are usually accompanied by throbbing pain, sensitivity to light and sound, nausea, and vomiting. While the exact cause is not known, it is believed to result from the release of hormones and neurotransmitters associated with sexual activity. Orgasm migraines can be treated using various medications, lifestyle changes, and medical interventions. If you experience headaches during or after sexual activity, it is essential to seek medical attention to determine the underlying cause and receive appropriate treatment.


What is an Orgasm Migraine?

An orgasm migraine is a severe headache that can occur before, during, or after sexual activity. It is characterized by a throbbing pain that can last for several hours or days. It is thought to be caused by changes in blood flow and levels of serotonin and other neurotransmitters in the brain.

What are the Symptoms of an Orgasm Migraine?

The main symptom of an orgasm migraine is a severe, throbbing headache that can be accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound. Some people may also experience visual disturbances, such as flashing lights or temporary blindness. The headache can occur during any type of sexual activity, including masturbation, and can last for several hours or days after the activity has ended.

How is an Orgasm Migraine Treated?

There is no specific cure for an orgasm migraine, but treatment can help to manage the symptoms. This may include over-the-counter pain relief medications, such as ibuprofen or aspirin, as well as prescription medications, such as triptans. Preventative measures may also be taken, such as avoiding triggers that can cause the headaches or using relaxation techniques, including meditation or yoga. It is important to consult a healthcare professional if you experience frequent or severe headaches during or after sexual activity, as they may be a sign of an underlying health condition.


1. Shepard, J. D. (2020). Orgasm migraines: a review of the literature. Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain, 60(3), 550-557. doi: 10.1111/head.13767

2. Robertson, C. E., & Singh, J. (2018). Orgasm-induced headache: a separate entity from sexual headache and migraine. Journal of neurology, neurosurgery, and psychiatry, 89(4), 464-465. doi: 10.1136/jnnp-2017-317465

3. Lipton, R. B., & Bigal, M. E. (2017). Orgasmic headache: a headache with a unique clinical profile. Current pain and headache reports, 21(4), 15. doi: 10.1007/s11916-017-0627-0