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Cryotherapy:  Ice Relief for Migraine Headaches
An Optical Migraine FAQ
Migraines and Pregnancy
The Art of Massaging Migraine Headaches
Migraine Headaches and the Weather
Menstrual Migraines
Migraines and the Smoking Connection
Well-Known Migraine Triggers
The Migraine-Aspartame Connection
Stress & the Migraine Sufferer
Sexually-Triggered Migraines
Eye Problems & Migraines
Fragrance Migraine Triggers
Treating Menstrual Migraines
Migraine Treatment:  A Natural Approach

Sexually-Triggered Migraines

As unfortunate as it might be to learn this, there appears to be a link between sexual activity and migraine headaches. However, health experts aren't exactly sure the nature of that link.

Sexually triggered migraines have been linked with people engaging in all manner of sexual activities.These include everything from intercourse to masturbation, regardless of whether there was actual orgasm. In fact, there seems to even be a possible connection with the different sexual positions used by people engaged in the act of sex. Fortunately, sexually-triggered migraines are not all that common; according to most studies, they affect only bout one o 350 headaches. Still, the problem is serious enough to affect a lot of people and to negatively impact their lifestyles.

A migraine attack caused by sexual activity is called an exertional headache, effort migraine or more technically, 'coital cephalgia.' These migraines are sometimes linked with orgasm and sometimes not.In fact, a migraine attack could strike before, during or after orgasm.

There are three patterns possible with sexually-triggered migraines.The first is the "sudden onset" headache, and includes three-fourths of them. This type of headache begins the night before, or possibly during or right after orgasm. This type of headache can be very severe, and might either build up slowly or explode suddenly inside the head. 

The second pattern is the subacuture pattern; it strikes in about a fourth of the instances, and starts before orgasm. At this time, the intensity will build up until orgasm. Those experiencing this pattern usually describe the pain as a dull ache. It's often accompanied by vomiting and nausea.

The third pattern is the least common one. It's the postdural headache, and causes pain at the lower back of the head. The pain increases when he  she stands erect, and is many times accompanied by vomiting and nausea.

Given this connection between sex and migraines, it's ironic that sexual activity can sometimes be used as a migraine treatment. According to a study conducted by the Headache Clinic of Southern Illinois University, many women found they could relieve migraine pain by achieving an orgasm. Most of those who said they experienced relief described it s complete relief. However, the study did show that orgasm was less effective than medication in providing relief.

There have been other studies which discovered that sex and orgasm could trigger endorphin rush in a person's brain. This is a chemical reaction which blocks pain by serving as something of an analgesic. 

So what we're left with is the paradoxical news that for some people, sex is a trigger for migraines; for others, it's a treatment. It's up to the migraine sufferer him or herself to determine which is true in their case, by paying close attention to when migraines start--and what seems to be best at bringing relief.You can do this by keeping a migraine journal, noting the circumstances when you experience an attack.And of course, speak with your doctor and get his insight on the matter.He will help you develop a strategy for dealing with all migraines, sex-related or not.

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