After sex headaches: The Spawn of Satan (Of course it's TMI)

I’ll get this out of the way first. I went to my doctor and I’m going to a neurologist in mid-April.

About 2 weeks ago, my wife and I had just had sex when I immediately got the worst headache of my entire life. I am not prone to headaches of any kind and so this was a complete shock to me. I just laid on the bed not knowing what to do. The back of my head felt like it was going to come off. My wife tried to get me to go to the emergency room but I decided to tough it out. We live way out in the country and the nearest emergency room is at a very small hospital where they really aren’t qualified to give much in the way of care. Also, this being a small, tight-knit community, I didn’t want to have to explain to everyone what had happened. After an hour or two of laying on an ice pack, the pain slowly started to subside. I googled my symptoms and found that sex headaches occur in approximately 1% of men.

A week later, I had to find out if my headache was just an aberration or was going to be an ongoing problem. It wasn’t just an aberration. This time, the pain was worse and lasted much longer. That was a week and a half ago and I can still feel some pain in the back of my head. What was really shocking was just fast the pain could hit me. In the instant after orgasm, it felt like my head was going to swell up and burst. This is the ultimate turn-off.

The next day, I went to my doctor (who is actually on a world-wide cruise, I saw his replacement) who had never heard of this sort of problem. He actually had his laptop with him in the patient room and googled it and found the same results that I had. He referred me to a neurologist.

I’m an anemic, overweight, out of shape, middle-aged, hypertensive Doper. My BP is supposed to be under control but lately it’s been reading higher than it should. My fill-in doc added a diuretic to my litany of medicines. It’s only been a week but so far it hasn’t helped.

This sucks.

Get a dental checkup. I went through the same thing 10 or 11 years ago and, fortunately, my doctor already had had someone else with the same problem. Doc gave him some pills and tried some other things when the guy just happened to have a dentist appointment. Turns out he had some (not detailed to me, of course) dental problems and after they were fixed he didn’t get the headaches anymore. I went and got a checkup and a rather large cavity was found right where I’d get the headaches. 1 filling later and the headaches were gone.

I know anecdote =/= data, but it’s something to consider.

Interesting. Were your headaches in the back of your head?

Too bad you’re not a masochist, or your wife a sadist.

I’m sure you’ve read similar articles to the one I read, but it sounds like the condition simply, “fades away” over time. Obviously, you’re doing the right thing in seeing the neurologist, but it sounds like a passing irritation.

There does seem to be a connection with hypertension, but there also seems to be a lot of question marks about this.

It is more common in men, so maybe it’s payback. “You sumbitches ate that apple too!” or somesuch.

I would say it was most painful just above my right ear and less painful (relatively) above the eye and behind the ear. The pain was just on the one side tho.

The tooth that needed the filling was an upper right molar, fwiw.

I get the same thing. They stop happening on their own after a while, take aspirin before sex. In about ten years i’ve had them about 3 or 4 times, usually occurring for about a week after climax.

MrPanda has had this happen. Scared us the first time, I thought he was having an aneurysm or something - he was in his mid 20s when they started. He finds it happens more often if he’s eaten a lot of sugar that day.

You’re probably fine. Go to the neurologist anyway, though.

Tell that to my wife. Fortunately, it does seem to have resolved itself currently, but it was an additional blocker when we really didn’t need extra discouragement.


TL;DR version - Probably typical post-coital headaches. Need an MRI.

Update: Last Tuesday, I finally had my appointment with my neurologist. It was scheduled for 10:00. I live far from the city and had to leave home at 8:00 to get there on time. When I did, I was told that they had tried to call me but the doctor wasn’t going to be in that day. In fact, he had been out for a week and a half. I was also told that “there was nothing they could do”. I was crushed and about the angriest I had ever been in my life. I would have thought that they might have tried to call the day before or something to at least warn me. If they had looked at their list of upcoming appointments the day before, they would have seen that I’m in a different area code than they are. They couldn’t reschedule. They couldn’t/wouldn’t do squat.

So the next day, I start searching for a new neuro. I had called just about all of the doctors on my insurance plan and most were scheduling for the end of May. The next to last one on the list told me that she could get me in the next day if I’d have my doctor’s office fax them my paperwork. I couldn’t believe it. I had the paperwork sent and got the appointment. I was ecstatic.

When I got to the new doctor’s office, the nurse asked me how long I had been waiting to get in. I told her one day. She couldn’t believe it. She said that some people have had to wait 18 months to get in to see Dr. Dees who is apparently a headache wiz kid. She really didn’t believe that I wasn’t a VIP.

Dr. Dees was incredible. He talked to my wife and I for an hour and a half, going over every explicit detail of my situation. Just as I and my fellow dopers had guessed, he believes that they are the typical post-coital headaches that a lucky 1% of males suffer. But to rule out a different underlying cause, he wants to do an MRI/MRA. I’d never heard of an MRA. It’s like an MRI but with ink injected. He also told me that if it happens again, I’m to proceed immediately to an ER and get a CT scan and a lumbar puncture. Oh boy.

We discussed several treatment options. He prescribed indomethacin, an NSAID, but said not to take it until I’ve had the MRI/MRA. If that doesn’t work, there are several other prescriptions available. If they don’t work, we have to hope it goes away on its own. 70% do within 3 years. 30% become chronic. :eek: If that happens to me, I’ll just throw myself on a knife.

Not really, but I’ll be majorly pissed and grumpy.

I’m a girl, and I get these. First one was incredibly scary, but faded away quickly…not even a fraction of the time you spent in pain…maybe fifteen minutes total. Since then, I’ve gotten them infrequently, certainly not every time. My doctor was less than concerned, reassured me that I wasn’t in danger, and said he didn’t see any point in the expense or stress of testing (for the record, I had had a brain MRI/CAT scan thingy in the time span between the first occurrence and me talking to him about it for other symptoms unrelated to this, so he knew I wasn’t harboring a tumah!). And he was right…they are infrequent, and lessening as time goes by.

I’ve had something similar for about 15 years now. Not right after sex, but approaching orgasm (which is pretty damn inconvenient time for it to feel like someone just drove an ice pick into your forehead).

I asked my doc about it the first time it happened, but he wasn’t really concerned. Since then, it would happen a couple of times each year. I’ve gotten so I can recognize the little twinge of pain that indicates what’s coming (heh), so I can just sigh, apologize to my girlfriend, and go take a shower.

There hasn’t really been any pattern to it – I’ve had nearly as much sex in the past 10 months as I did in the 15 previous years combined*, but the rate of occurrence hasn’t changed. I had a brain scan a few years ago on an unrelated issue, and I mentioned this to the doc looking at my results – but there was nothing on the scan that gave him any indication of a problem.

So, it’s just kind of become “one of those things”…
Not a sneak brag.*
**Well, maybe a little.

Very cool. Sometimes things just work out. I’m glad you were able to get some face time with a good Doc.

Yikes! That would be enough to keep my pants zipped up for at least a day or two.

So, three times? :wink:

Woah, slow down there John Holmes…

Older similar thread: I’m 31 and my sex life is over

I have this too and the closer I get, the worse it gets. My husband and I have figured out that it is due to tension. Basically, if I drink a lot of water before hand and relax during, I can avoid a headache.