Sex can ward off migraines, study finds

Having sex while suffering from a migraine does not sound very appealing, but sex can ease the pain (Photo: Health Essentials, Cleveland Clinic)

Maybe you’ve been trying the wrong things to ease the pain of your migraine, maybe you should try sex instead. A study from the University of Munster in Germany found that sex can even be more effective than painkillers.

The research was reported in Cephalalgia, the journal of the International Headache Society. It found that more than half of migraine sufferers who had sex during an episode experienced an improvement in symptoms.

An anonymous questionnaire was sent to 800 random migraine patients and 200 similar cluster headache sufferers.

They asked for experience with sexual activity during a headache attack and its impact on headache intensity.

More than a third of migraine patients had experience with sexual activity during an attack and out of these patients, almost two in three reported an “improvement of their migraine attack”.

Almost three in four reported moderate to complete relief and a third reported it worsening.

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Sex triggers the release of the body’s natural pain killers ( Photo: Men’s Health)

The researchers said that some patients, in particular male migraine patients, even used sexual activity as a therapeutic tool.

The researchers suggested that sex triggered the release of endorphin, the body’s natural painkillers, through the central nervous system, which can in turn reduce, or even eliminate, a 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 behaviour.”

They added: “Sex can abort migraine and cluster headache attacks, and sexual activity is used by some patients as acute headache treatment.”