Migraines can be debilitating and running out of painkillers during an episode is everyone’s worst nightmare. However, it seems thatorgasms may be the secret to alternative pain relief.
Orgasms can relieve migraine pain
Professor Amanda Ellison of Durham University has recently published a book that may change your mind about sex when it comes to headaches. The book entitled Splitting reveals that sex provides and ‘injection of serotonin’ which incidentally is great for migraine relief.
The professor recalled case studies which showed that chronic migraine sufferers may also be subject to lower levels of serotonin. She recalled studies involving two men, one 61 and the other 47, who reported having episodic cluster headaches. Prof Ellison revealed:
At the point of orgasm with their respective partners, both men reported their headaches suddenly disappeared.
She also added that those suffering from this type of head pain also crave sex roughly 20% more than those whose pain is caused by tension. A German study published in Cephalagia also came to similar conclusions adding:
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 behaviour.
The German study reached out to a total of 800 migraine sufferers and 200 cluster headache sufferers. Out of those who responded, 34% of patients revealed that they had experienced sex during a migraine attack with ‘60% reporting an improvement of their migraine attack (70% of them reported moderate to complete relief) and 33% reported worsening.’
However, if a bit of intimacy just doesn’t provide enough of a boost, Professor Ellison pointed out that there are a few more things you can do right after sex to continue to increase your serotonin levels. This includes things such as eating chocolate or drinking coffee.
What else can you do to ease a migraine?
For those whose, nausea, dizziness and light sensitivity are enough to put the idea of sex to bed, Prof Ellison explained that cuddling may also help to ease your pain as it can provide an oxytocin boost:
Choose a hugger for a partner. They don't call it neurochemistry for nothing.
There are also a number of other things you can do to ease a migraine such as:
- Placing a cold or hot compress on your forehead
- Taking a nap in a cold, dark and quiet room
- Massaging your temples
- Staying hydrated
- Using smelling salts
- Drinking ginger tea
- Practising yoga, meditation or other relaxation techniques
- Taking specialised pain-relieving medications such as migraine melts
However, if you have a migraine that continues to get worse after painkillers, causes confusion and speech problems or you have a migraine that follows a head injury, then it is best to check in with a medical professional.