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No More Excuses: Sex Cures Headaches Better than Traditional Painkillers

Update Date: Mar 04, 2013 02:00 PM EST
sex, men, women, relationship
(Photo : Darren Star Productions)

Having a headache is no longer a good excuse for not having sex. In fact, scientists found that getting busy in the bedroom could even lead to "partial or complete relief" of headaches in migraine sufferers.

A new study found that sexual activity works even better than traditional painkillers for relieving splitting headaches.

Scientists from the University of Munster, Germany found that more than half of migraine sufferers who had sex during an episode experienced an improvement in symptoms.  What's more, one in five migraine sufferers reported that having sex completely cured their headache, according to the study published in Cephalalgia, the journal of the International Headache Society.  Researchers reported that others, in particular male sufferers "even used sexual activity as a therapeutic tool," researchers said, according to the study.

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Researchers explain that sex works by triggering the release of endorphins, the body's natural painkillers.  These endorphins released during sex act on the central nervous system to reduce or, in some cases, eliminate the headache.

"Our results show that sexual activity during a migraine attack might relieve or even stop an attack in some cases, and that sexual activity in the presence of headache is not an unusual behavior," researchers said according to The Telegraph. "Sex can abort migraine and cluster headache attacks, and sexual activity is used by some patients as acute headache treatment."

While it has long been known that sex can trigger headaches, researchers from the latest study wanted to see whether there was any evidence to support anecdotal suggestions claiming that sex could also ease symptoms of migraine and cluster or one-sided headaches.

Researchers sent anonymous questionnaires to 800 random migraine patients and 200 similar cluster headache sufferers.  Researchers asked participants to elaborate on experiences with sexual activity during a headache attack and how sex influenced headache intensity.

According to the study, 34 percent of migraine sufferers and 31 percent of patients with cluster headaches had experienced sexual activity during an attack. Researchers found that out of these patients, 60 percent reported an "improvement of their migraine attack" and 37 percent reported an "improvement of their cluster headache attack".

Researchers found that men were more likely to benefit from sex than women with 36 percent of men using sexual activity as a therapy for dealing with their headache and only 13 percent of women doing the same.

"The majority of patients with migraine or cluster headache do not have sexual activity during headache attacks," researchers wrote in the study. "Our data suggest, however, that sexual activity can lead to partial or complete relief of headache in some migraine and a few cluster headache patients."

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