Sexual Health Overview (cont.)
In this Article
Which medications commonly cause sex problems for men or women?
The most well-known medications are antidepressant drugs such as Prozac, or tranquilizers, such as Valium, both of which can impact sex drive in both men and women. For women, certain birth control pills can put a damper on desire, as can some formulations of HRT used to treat menopause symptoms. Drugs known to increase the risk of impotency in men include certain high blood pressure drugs, antihistamines used for colds or allergies, some nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) (like ibuprofen), heartburn drugs such as Tagamet, Zantac, and Pepcid, some lipid-lowering drugs for cholesterol, and certain medications used to treat Parkinson's disease or cancer.
Is it true that sex can actually give some people a headache?
Yes, it's true. Medically, the condition is known as coital cephalalgia, and surprisingly, it affects men more often than women -- surprising because in general women get more headaches than men. While no one is certain what's behind the problem, some say it may be related to the sudden change in blood flow and subsequent drop in blood pressure following orgasm. Others contend it may be the result of a release of adrenaline that floods the body during periods of intense sexual activity. While some folks can have sex headaches for several weeks followed by permanent remission, for others the problem may come and go indefinitely, or sometimes be present with every sexual encounter. Although you might not suffer from migraine headaches, sex headaches are thought to be chemically related and frequently respond to similar treatments. One word of caution: Don't assume that a headache you experience after sex is a sex headache. Experts say sometimes benign lesions in the brain or aneurysms (a blood vessel disorder) can also cause headaches after sex. To rule out such problems, don't diagnose yourself -- see your doctor.
WebMD Medical Reference
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Sexuality and Information Council of the United States: Fact Sheet on Sexuality
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Last Editorial Review: 3/10/2010
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