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Sex and Migraines: How To Deal With Sex Related Headaches

Sex and Migraines: How To Deal With Sex Related Headaches

Migraines, a chronic illness affecting approximately 30 million individuals in the United States, can be such a bummer on intimacy between partners. This is not just about sexual intimacy although it may be the worst affected – think of the supposedly lame excuse, “Honey, I have a headache” for the times when sex is on the agenda of the partner but not on the other –but also about physical and emotional intimacy.

Stress of Migraines

Chronic migraines can create strains and stresses in a romantic relationship on so many levels that, sadly, creates physical and emotional distance between the two individuals. The distance may be unspoken or spoken but it is there, nonetheless, and it can lead to separation.

These stresses and strains on the relationship can take many forms, too. Scenarios like the following are all too common in many surveys conducted among migraine sufferers:

  • Reduced sexual intimacy

One of the most notable symptoms of migraine attacks is hypersensitivity to light, sound and touch especially from other individuals. Such is the hypersensitivity to touch that many migraine sufferers hate even the slightest pressure on their skin regardless of what or who made it.

The result: Lesser desire for sex, which obviously requires plenty of touching between the partners. The situation becomes worse when the migraine attacks occur on a frequent basis or these are triggered by orgasms, as is the case in many women.

  • Lessened physical and emotional intimacy

Migraine attacks can last anywhere from 4 to 72 hours! During this time, the affected individual suffers from severe throbbing and pulsating pain on one or both sides of the head coupled with nausea, vomiting and blurred vision. With these symptoms, even the thought of engaging in physical and emotional intimacy like cuddling, canoodling and emotional talks will add to the stress and, thus, to a worsening of symptoms.

Think about it: Even engaging in everyday activities is a no-no because the symptoms of migraine can be debilitating. This is the reason why migraine sufferers with families should take extra efforts to make their relatives understand their chronic condition to avoid misundertandings.

Suffice it to say that migraines will take a toll on your life in general and your sex life in particular. Your romantic relationship can suffer unless and until you take the appropriate measures to not allow your chronic condition to completely take over your life.

Dealing with Migraines

Aside from seeking appropriate medical treatment to significantly lessen your migraine attacks, you can also keep these tips in mind to strengthen your physical and emotional bonds with your partner even with lesser amounts of sex involved: (Fortunately, medical treatments are largely effective so the sex aspect can also be addressed in your favor)

  • Plan for sexual intimacy. Keeping a headache diary detailing your triggers like menstrual periods, insufficient sleep, and barometric changes will help in identifying the times when it is best to have sex because your migraine is least likely to attack.
  • Improve your communication. Letting your partner understand your symptoms and letting him – 75% of migraine sufferers are women – express his feelings are crucial to maintaining a harmonious relationship despite the presence of migraines.

Ultimately, migraines can become the glue or the wedge in your relationship. It’s both of your choice.


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