Will Masturbating Relieve Your Migraine?

June 29th, 2011

What effect will achieving an orgasm via masturbation have on an existing migraine?

A recent study found that for about 45% of women the orgasm made the migraine better and for about 20% of those women, the migraine completely disappeared.

For about 50% of the women, achieving orgasm, had no effect on their migraine and for 5% of the women, their migraine got worse.

It’s important to understand these results were for women with an existing migraine.

This is a different subject from the types of headaches and migraines that may be caused by the exertion and physiological changes that occur during sexual stimulation and/or exercise.

So with only a 5% chance of your migraine getting worse, masturbating to orgasm during a migraine may be something to explore.

But please remember that this was a small study and there is the risk that if in the past, sex or exercise has caused you to get a migraine, it could happen again.

Curt Hendrix, M.S., C.C.N., C.N.S

March 2013 – Update

New research suggests that sex may relieve pain for some people who suffer migraine headaches.

The finding, published in the March issue of the journal Cephalalgia, found that sexual activity relieved the pain of migraines or cluster headaches,  for up to a third of patients. Some of the patients even reported using sex as a kind of headache therapy.

“There’s a [portion] of patients with migraines, about one-third, who experience relief from a migraine attack by sexual activity,” said study researcher Stefan Evers, a neurologist and headache specialist at the University of Münster in Germany.

The researchers aren’t sure why this happens, but hypothesize that the rush of endorphins, the brain’s natural painkillers, during sex may numb the pain of migraines.

According to a ‘Life Science’ report,  to see whether this phenomenon was borne out on a larger scale, Evers and his colleagues sent 800 patients who had migraines and 200 patients with cluster headaches a questionnaire about their experiences with sexual activity during headache attacks, and how sex affected the pain intensity.

About four in 10 of the surveyed patients responded.

Results showed that about a third of patients engaged in sexual activity during a migraine or cluster headache. Of migraine sufferers, 60 percent experienced relief, with the majority of those patients reporting a moderate or complete amount of pain relief. For a third of the responding patients, sex worsened the migraines.

Among patients with cluster headaches, about a third reported total or partial relief, while about 50 percent said their headaches worsened.

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