Majority of patients with migraine or cluster headache do not have sexual activity during headache attacks.
But the new study, from the University of Munster, Germany, suggested that instead of using headache as an excuse to refuse sex, making love can be more effective than taking painkillers, the Telegraph reported.
More than half of migraine sufferers who had sex during an episode experienced an improvement in symptoms, the study found.
One in five patients left without any pain at all, while others, in particular male sufferers even used sexual activity as acute headache treatment, it added.
The neurologists behind the study suggested that sex triggered the release of endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers, through the central nervous system, which can in turn reduce, or even eliminate, a headache.
In their research, the team of neurologists sent an anonymous questionnaire to 800 random migraine patients and 200 similar cluster headache sufferers.
They asked for experience with sexual activity during a headache attack and its impact on headache intensity.
More than a third of migraine patients had experience with sexual activity during an attack and out of these patients, almost two in three reported an “improvement of their migraine attack”.
Almost three in four reported moderate to complete relief and a third reported it worsening.
Those suffering a cluster headache, almost a third had experience with sexual activity, with 37 per cent reporting an improvement to their condition. More than 90 per cent reported moderate to complete relief while 50 reported worsening.
The research findings were reported in Cephalalgia, the journal of the International Headache Society.