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HomeAnswersNeurologytension type headacheCan a headache that occurs during sexual intercourse be due to high blood pressure?

My head started to pulsate and hurt during sex. Please help.

The following is an actual conversation between an iCliniq user and a doctor that has been reviewed and published as a Premium Q&A.

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Preetha. J

Published At October 22, 2020
Reviewed AtJune 7, 2023

Patient's Query

Hi doctor,

I am a 37- year-old male who weighs 73 kg, with good health. 18 days ago, I developed a dull headache at the back of my head, affecting the left side only. When it started, it was of medium intensity and did require pain medications for three days (Paracetamol and Codeine). While the headache is mostly dull, on a couple of occasions, during sexual intercourse, my head started to pulsate strongly, and it hurt significantly more. The pulsating pain decreased slowly over 10 to 15 minutes when I interrupted the activity.

After five days since the inception of the headache, I saw a GP who also found me having high blood pressure (145/100). He did not determine the headache, and the high blood pressure was necessarily correlated but suggested a cardiologist's visit. The visit went well, no issues found in my heart (eco Doppler). My blood pressure is now back to normal (125/75), although I continue to monitor it daily.

After 18 days, the headache remains. It is not strong enough to warrant the use of pain medications. It is still dull and located on the left region of my head (at the back). Over the past week, I developed another symptom. I also feel as if the area around my left cheek and eye is slightly paralyzed. However, it is not; I can move it normally, it is just a sensation I have most of the times. Sometimes I feel a bit dizzy or not fully able to concentrate (nothing severe at all; in fact, I keep working). I am a very anxious patient, so I do not exclude stress is playing a role in these latest symptoms.

What is your opinion? I am worried it could be a more severe condition than a simple headache. Should I perform additional tests or scans? I also did blood tests that came back completely normal.

Thanks.

Answered by Dr. Aida Abaz Quka

Hello,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

I read carefully through your question and would explain that your symptoms are suggestive of tension-type cervicogenic headaches. In contrast, the throbbing headache during sexual activity could be related to high blood pressure (based on your description).

In my opinion, nothing serious is going on. A wrong posture or psychological stress could be the reason for the persistent headache in the back.

On the other hand, the face numbness on the left is not related to the headache on the left, because the left part of the face is related to the right part of the brain (neuroanatomy). I recommend physical activity to help reinforce your neck muscles and try to correct your posture.

If the headache and numbness persist or it gets worse, I would recommend you to perform a brain MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) to exclude possible MS (multiple sclerosis) (which would cause face numbness at your age) or a brain aneurysm (considering the throbbing headaches during sexual activity).

I hope you will find this answer helpful.

I remain at your disposal for any further questions whenever you need it.

Kind regards.

Same symptoms don't mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Dr. Aida Abaz Quka
Dr. Aida Abaz Quka

Neurology

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