While not the end of the world, sex headaches can be a painful downside to what should otherwise be a fun and pleasurable experience.
They typically start during, you guessed it, sexual activity.
If you’re struggling with sex headaches, here’s what we know about why they happen and whether or not they’re something to be afraid of…
What is a sex headache?
According to the NHS, medical professionals are of the opinion that sex headaches are caused by a build up of tension and pressure in the muscles of the head and neck.
They commonly last between a few minutes to an hour.
Previous research into headaches associated with sexual activity (HSA) found they affect around 1% of the population.
The researchers also found that sex headaches are three to four times more common in men than women, although they note that numbers may be underreported due to embarrassment among sufferers.
Are sex headaches dangerous?
While annoying, sex headaches aren’t typically dangerous at all.
If you’re planning on having sex and worried you might get a headache, the NHS recommends taking a painkiller a few hours before you get down to it as a pre-emptive measure.
If sex headaches are becoming a real nuisance to you, you can always speak to your GP to see if there’s something they can do to help.
You should call 111 if your headache is severe and your jaw hurts when you eat, you’ve got blurred or double vision, a sore scalp, and/or you get other symptoms such as your legs or arms feeling weak or numb.
If a headache comes on suddenly and is extremely painful, then the NHS recommends calling 999.
You should also call 999 if you’ve got an extremely painful headache and vision loss, sudden problems speaking or remembering things, the white of your eye is red, you’re feeling confused or drowsy, you’ve got a very high temperature, or feel shivery and hot as well as having a rash or a stiff neck.
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