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When a migraine attack sets in, the common response for most people is to dim the lights, remove any noises or distractions and lie down in bed until it passes. A new study suggests that these may be just the first steps toward setting the mood for a far more effective way of getting rid of a headache.
According to team of neurologists from the University in Muenster, Germany, having sex can lead to “partial or complete relief” of headaches and migraines.
The researchers even found that sex is more effective at fighting off headaches than the typical over-the-counter painkiller. A significant majority of participants who took part in this study said that their migraines felt better after making whoopee, with one in five saying their head pain had completely vanished.
The researchers believe the release of endorphins which accompany sex could be responsible for shooing away the pain.
“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 behavior,” the researchers told the Daily Mail. “Sex can abort migraine and cluster headache attacks, and sexual activity is used by some patients as acute headache treatment.”
A common pop culture joke is that headaches are often blamed for a lack of interest in amorous activities. In fact, some neurologists have long believed that the physical activity and rapid rush of chemicals that accompany sex can actually cause headaches.
For their study, the German researchers sent out anonymous questionnaires to 800 random migraine sufferers and 200 random sufferers of cluster headaches. These questionnaires asked about the effects of sex on a headache and whether the headache was lessened or increased after sex.
According to the study, 33 percent of these participants tried having sex in the middle of a headache. Sixty percent of those who had migraines and 36 percent of those who suffered from cluster headaches said their bedroom endeavors alleviated their cranial discomfort.
Of the migraine sufferers who saw an improvement after sex, nearly 20 percent reported that their pain had completely gone away. The majority of these patients, 51 percent, said they experienced at least moderate pain relief after making sexy time.
“In total, 42.7 per cent of all migraine patients experienced at least 50 percent relief, a response rate as high as in studies on acute medication,” wrote the researchers.
Men in particular saw an improvement in their condition, with 36 percent saying once they discovered sex was the key, they began using it to take care of their head pain on a regular basis. Only 19 percent of women reported adopting the same practice.
While the study mainly emphasizes the benefits of sex in alleviating headaches, the research team also reported that nearly a third of the participants with migraines actually reported that sex made their pain worse, while half of participants with cluster headaches said the same.
The Daily Mail of Britain sought a comment from Dr. Nick Silver in Liverpool who claims this study is not large enough to draw hard and fast conclusions. This did not, however, stop him from cracking wise.
“We can now say, however, that the excuse of “not tonight, I have a headache” may not be taken seriously by all sexual partners.”
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