Coital Headache


How to know if you have a Coital Headache, how to treat it, and ICD-10

A coital headache is a headache that occurs during intimate activities, with or without a partner, and with or without completion. There are several causes, but mainly two: general exertion and sexual excitement that involves a type of contraction of neck and face muscles. Coital headaches are rare, and are usually not seriously dangerous, but they can be in certain cases.

Coital Headache Symptoms

Normally, coital headaches last from one minute to 24 hours (but can last up to 72 hours) and involve mild intensity pain. For some people, they begin as a dull headache as sexual excitement increases, and become most intense during orgasm. In other people, the headache begins at orgasm. It can be bilateral or unilateral. Coital headache may not follow each instance of sexual activity.

Coital Headache Causes

What causes coital headaches is often just general exertion due to the physical activity, and many people who have coital headaches because of exertion also have headaches when they engage in other physical exertion. For other people, though, coital headaches seems to be caused (scientists are fairly certain but not entirely) by the excitement of sexual activity – when these people are excited, their muscles (neck and face) tighten up and this leads to a headache.

Who Gets Coital Headaches

Around 1% of the population is estimated to get occasional or frequent coital headaches. It tends to be more common in men than in women, and can occur at any age.

Coital Headache Treatment

One treatment recommended by some doctors is simply being less energetic when engaging in sexual activity.

Another treatment is medicine. Doctors will recommend different things, but these are the drugs that have been prescribed for coital headaches with reported success: Propranolol, Bellergal, and triptans. Generally, indomethacin and beta blockers have been found successful in treatment.

Other Causes of Coital Headache

While coital headaches are generally caused by exertion or excited muscle tension, sometimes (particularly with sudden, severe headaches that occur during coital activity) there is a more serious cause, includingin tracerebral hemorrhage, subarachnoid hemorrhage, and cerebral infarction. All of these require immediate medical attention.

For reimbursement purposes, coital headache is indexed under the code ICD-10-CM. Click here for more about Coital Headache ICD 10.