Sex and headache

Headache 2011 American Headache SocietyPublished by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
doi: 10.1111/j.1526-4610.2011.01928.x HEADACHE Toolbox
together in the same context, the result typically expected by chance alone). The SSRIs thus are is something along the lines of “Not tonight prescribed frequently for migraine patients, and honey . . . I have a headache.” But sex and in both males and females all the SSRIs may headache (particularly migraine headache, most reduce sex drive and inhibit or prohibit orgasm; relevant to this Toolbox) are linked in a variety of less often they may produce erectile dysfunction.
Verapamil, a calcium channel blocker, isfrequently prescribed for migraine prevention, First, while the experience of acute migraine and while this drug does not affect libido or headache with associated nausea, vomiting, and sexual performance, it may decrease sperm hypersensitivity to a variety of environmental motility and thus promote infertility. Beta-blockers stimuli obviously may preclude the desire for sex or ability to achieve orgasm, research has drugs also commonly prescribed for migraine indicated that women may find sex – particularly prevention, may cause erectile dysfunction sex resulting in orgasm – to be effective in terminating that attack or, at least, reducingsymptom intensity. Giving lie to the “not tonight Although individuals afflicted with migraine honey . . .” cliché is other research which found rarely report orgasm as a trigger for migraine that women who suffer from migraine tend to attacks, there is a primary headache disorder score relatively high on surveys assessing “sex distinct from migraine termed “orgasmic head- ache” (or “benign sexual headache/explosivetype”). This disorder is characterized by Second, it is important to know that many of sudden, severe headache developing at peak the medications commonly used in migraine sexual excitement and persisting for a variable management may reduce sex drive or impair length of time (minutes to hours). While many patients with this disorder also will report a adversely influence fertility. For example, although history of typical migraine, the association is far there is not much evidence to suggest that the from invariable. Although this headache disorder selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs) may occur in both genders, it is more common such as fluoxetine (eg, Prozac; Lilly) and in males. It may occur at any time during the paroxetine (eg, Paxil; GlaxoSmithKline) are years of sexual activity, and its course is erratic; effective when used for migraine prevention, one may suffer this “explosive” orgasmic head- migraine is co-morbid with both depression and ache frequently and consistently for a period of anxiety (ie, the conditions occur together in the permanent remission of the headaches.
headache patient and are concerned that your Because orgasmic headache also may occur as headaches – or their treatment – are exerting an a consequence of potentially serious medical adverse influence on your sex life or fertility, this conditions (eg, brain aneurysm), the diagnosis is an issue well worth addressing with your of the benign sexual headache requires confir- mation by a healthcare provider skilled in head- issues which link headache and sex. If you are a


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