“One study found that about one-quarter of patients mentioned that migraines affected the frequency or quality of sex,” says Joshua M. Cohen, MD, director of education in the department of neurology at Mount Sinai West Hospital in New York. “Five percent even said it was the cause of their divorce or end of relationship.”
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Take these steps to get your mojo back on track.
Understand the Impact
Symptoms of migraines include nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to smells, lights, sounds, and movement and touch.
Migraines may also have a more direct effect in the bedroom: One study found women with these headaches said they felt a higher level of pain and distress during intercourse. But another study showed sex actually relieved migraine symptoms for some women. Still others report sex with orgasm triggered migraines, but this is thought to be rare.
Hold off the Headache
Some people, especially those with chronic migraines, may need preventive medicines. If yours happen often, ask your doctor if there’s something you can take to help stop them.
While being spontaneous might seem romantic, a “migraine doesn’t do very well with change.
Know Your Triggers
You can also manage your migraines — and re-ignite romance — by avoiding your things that bring your headaches on.
Common triggers include:
- Red wine
- Strong smells like perfume and scented candles
- Bright light
- Changes in weather
Since some of these are staples of a romantic evening, you may need to rethink how you get in the mood. Skip the red wine or other booze right before sex, Monteith says. You might also keep music low, and ask your partner not to wear cologne or perfume.