Clinicians Should be Alert for Underlying Conditions

A Loyola University Medical Center neurologist and headache specialist says that while about 1 percent of adults report they have experienced headaches associated with sexual activity, the actual incidence is almost certainly higher. Jose Biller, MD, FACP, FAAN, FAHA, is chair of the Department of Neurology. He observes that headaches can be secondary to other conditions, and some of these can be life-threatening.

Headache associated with sexual activity (HAS) was classified as a distinct form of primary headache by the International Headache Society in 2004.The vast majority of headaches associated with sexual activity are benign. But in a small percentage of cases, they can be due to a serious underlying condition, such as a hemorrhage, brain aneurysm, stroke, cervical artery dissection or subdural hematoma. Therefore, Dr. Biller advises, patients should be evaluated for these, especially on first reported occurrence. A summary of Dr. Biller’s remarks may be read here.

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