The Unknown Primary Sex Headache

It sounds almost biblical, but it is in fact physiological. Some people suffer pain when they have sex. There is an otherwise completely healthy young man (24) in India who has acute headaches each time he watches XXX material. His case highlights a little publicised and mysterious condition known as ‘primary sex headaches’ that has nothing to do with gender or sex avoidance. The young man in this case, would immediately begin to feel discomfort and develop head pains within 5 minutes of watching blue movies. The headaches built to a severe level a couple of minutes later.

It is known that there are two sorts of ‘primary headache’ brought on by sex. This young bachelor has the less common type, the slow burn in conjunction with increasing arousal. More common is the sudden severe blinding pain that comes with orgasm. It is thought that we know more about this second type because it is brought to doctors attention more, because of the clear and scary link to those important moments.

However, no matter the exact nature of the primary sex headaches there is little knowledge or research about the causal mechanism, despite knowing exactly the trigger. Some medics suggest that the headaches come on because blood vessels become extraordinarily reactive with sexual activity. The Indian case study suggests that his condition was caused by stimulation of the pain sensing synapses in his face and jaw and increased pain sensitivity to the raised emotional state that comes with the voyeurism of pornography.

Best estimates are that 1 in a 100 people suffering from primary sex headaches at some time in their lives. They are also more prevalent in males than females. Nearly half of the people who suffer them also suffer migraines. Again it is still a mystery as to whether the migraine raises the likelihood of primary sex headaches or perhaps even the other way round. Or maybe there are other factors entirely at the bottom of this disturbing condition.

The young Indian bachelor who could not enjoy his porn movies was normal in every other way. A well-educated IT professional with no pre-existing medical conditions such as migraine or even everyday tension headaches. He had not previously had headaches in conjunction with sexual activity of any kind. Neither had he suffered any head trauma or meningitis related infections. All physical and neurological tests showed no obvious reasons for the reported primary sex headaches and so this was the first reported case of the condition associated with a specific sexual activity. Had a reason been established, the condition would have been categorized differently as a ‘secondary sex headache’.

The Indian patient was prescribed dual medication of Ibuprofen and acetaminophen 30 minutes before pressing play on his video machine. He reported significant relief to the lesser desirable impact of his activities. Most other patients suffer the primary sex headaches for a period of months and are mostly treated with indomethacin. This is an anti-inflammatory prescription drug in America used for headaches generally.

Claire Al-Aufi

Claire Al-Aufi is a contributing author for Hive Health Media who provides updates on health and fitness news.

2 thoughts on “The Unknown Primary Sex Headache

  • July 25, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    Well this is certainly news to me. I was under the impression the sex was actually a cure for headaches. I need to rethink my ongoing strategies now :)


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