Migraine : Sex May Ease Headache Pain

"Not tonight, honey, I've got a headache" may have lost some of its force as an argument for no sex following a study by neurologists at the University of Muenster in western Germany.

Writing in Cephalalgia, the official journal of the UK-based International Headache Society, the scientists, led by Anke Hambach, said their study showed that sexual activity - with or without a partner - could relieve pain in some headache patients.

The majority of migraine or cluster headache patients surveyed in the study said they had no sex during headache attacks. Among the migraine patients who said they did have experience with sexual activity during an attack, 60 per cent reported an improvement and 33 per cent a worsening.

Among cluster headache patients, just 37 per cent reported eased symptoms after sex, while half felt worse. Men experienced more pain relief from sex than women did.

The study's authors cautioned against attaching too much significance to the results, noting that the some 350 people surveyed suffered from particularly severe headaches. And a university spokesperson added that questionnaires on "below-the-belt" topics were often answered less than honestly.

Copyright 2013 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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