Are orgasm headaches a thing? The experts sound off

Fact or fiction: orgasm headaches? Here's what you need to know about them

woman lying on her bed
(Image credit: Getty Images / Cavan Images)

Sex can be a headache...quite literally. At times, orgasm headaches threaten to derail that feel-good moment you're dying to experience in bed (or perhaps while on the sofa). 

But you shouldn't let the likes of a migraine stand in the way of your sexual bliss. We asked the pros how to avoid this conundrum so you never feel stressed about sex again. 

What are orgasm headaches?

First of all, if you're feeling like you need to take an Advil—and a breather—after a playful event and a satisfying O, you're not alone. Experts insist that the nature of the deed and reaching those pleasure points can cause people to feel a bit overwhelmed, which ultimately results in a dull tension in their head. 

"Many doctors believe that [orgasm headaches] happen due to the swift rise in blood pressure that occurs during sex and, more particularly, during orgasm," says experts at MegaPleasure (opens in new tab), though they insist it is more common for men than women.

Orgasm headaches do not happen terribly often and aren't really a cause for concern, but you should have your blood pressure monitored if the feeling becomes frequent, the MegaPleasure pros advise. According to the Mayo Clinic (opens in new tab), sudden, severe, throbbing and frequent headaches while climaxing are reasons to seek medical advice. 

What kind of headache after sex do you get?

Per the Mayo Clinic (opens in new tab), an orgasm headache is one type of phenomenon, but you can also experience a dull ache in your head or neck during sex as well. This is not a frequent problem, either, but should this sensation keep happening to you, you'll want to have it checked.

How to treat orgasm headaches, according to pros

Like other strenuous activities, this could all be cured with over-the-counter medicine. 

"The best immediate treatment is to take ibuprofen, aspirin or paracetamol— provided that these drugs don't give you any problems—then just try to relax, lying flat for an hour or two," the pros at MegaPleasure suggest.

How do I avoid orgasm headaches?

It's fairly simple and doesn't require much at all—it's just about keeping healthy. 

"Sex, especially vigorous sex, can be extremely dehydrating; movement plus hot bodies and skin on skin contact equals a lot of sweat," according to the MegaPleasure team. "When your body is dehydrated one of the first things to happen is a headache, so to prevent this happening after an orgasm, make sure you’re thoroughly hydrated." 

(If you're feeling proactive about your bedroom escapades, check out the best exercises for better sex, according to fitness pros.)

What about a headache before sex?

So, you're feeling a little light-headed, but you're still anxious to enjoy some frisky behavior. More power to you for powering through! Orgasms actually have many health benefits and they could be just the natural remedy needed to rid yourself of that dull tension under your eyes. 

"When you orgasm, your body releases feel-good hormones oxytocin and endorphins, which work to make you feel relaxed, happy and satisfied," according to MegaPleasure pros. "They are known to soothe impulses of the nerve that cause migraines, joint pain, as well as menstrual cramping."

(Psst: these are the best sex positions for menstrual cramps.) 

Even better? You're likely to become something of a warrior when you hit your pleasure points. 

"It has been found that when women orgasm, their pain tolerance threshold goes up by up to 74.6%!"

That certainly sounds like a good reason to partake in the activity, no? But, of course, should anything seem alarming or slightly off, do not hesitate to seek out medical advice. In the meantime, check out the 2023 sex trends dominating this year. 

Danielle Valente

Danielle is a writer for woman&home and My Imperfect Life, covering all-things news, lifestyle and entertainment. 

The heart of her time at Future has been devoted to My Imperfect Life, where she's been attuned to the cosmos, new TV shows and relationship trends.  

Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids and a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, amNewYork and Newsday, among other outlets. 

When Danielle is not working, you can usually find her reading a book, coffee at hand, or attempting a new recipe. (Recommendations always welcome!)