This Week in Health: A headache after sex?

headache sex orgasm
Men are three to four times more likely to experience headaches after orgasm.
Credit: ThinkStock

Scientists explore sex hangover

Location: U.S.

Results: If getting frisky brings on a headache, you’re not alone. Headaches associated with sexual activity represent a longstanding health issue. (Records go back to the time of Hippocrates.) Even so, many are reluctant to speak openly about it. For the 1 to 2 percent of people who do report it, the episodes can be frighteningly painful. It can occur at different points during sexual activity, but they most commonly happen during orgasm. Experts say orgasmic headaches can be explosive and throbbing.

Significance: “They are obviously very scary because of the severity and the rapid onset of the headache,” said Dr. Jose Biller, chairman of the Department of Neurology with Loyola University Chicago’s Stritch School of Medicine. Even so, he says they are usually harmless. But he asserts that sex headaches should still be investigated by a doctor. While typically benign, some can be brought on by a serious underlying condition including stroke, aneurism or tumor. Biller advises anyone who experiences a sex headache to seek medical treatment to rule out any dangerous complications. In general, men are three to four times more likely to experience sexual headaches than women.


Fruits, veggies don’t affect weight loss

Location: U.S.

Results: When it comes to shedding unwanted pounds, many of us reach for more fruits and vegetables. Others eat them in moderation, believing that they actually encourage weight gain. But new research suggests that when it comes to weight loss, fruits and veggies do not play a vital role. According to researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, eating fruits and vegetables without making any other lifestyle changes appears to be an ineffective weight loss approach. Conversely, the idea that eating additional fruits and vegetables can make people pack on pounds is also unfounded.

Significance: “Some people don’t understand that while some fruit and starchy vegetables do contain a large number of calories, our bodies are really pretty good at compensating,” said Dr. Kathryn Kaiser, instructor in the UAB School of Public Health. For those looking to lose some pounds, other important lifestyle modifications need to be made. This includes cutting calories and increasing physical activity. For best results, Kaiser suggests consulting with a doctor or nutritionist to create a feasible plan that individuals can adopt and maintain.


Being tired makes us more likely to lie, cheat

Location: U.S.

Results: Whether you’re a morning person or a night owl, there may be certain times of day that make people more likely to lie or cheat. According to a team of researchers from Johns Hopkins University, the University of Washington and Georgetown University, feeling tired increases the odds of behaving unethically. After examining the results of two different studies, investigators reported that night owls are more likely to lie or cheat in the morning. Conversely, morning people are more likely to be dishonest in the evening hours.

Significance: Researchers say that energy and alertness are directly linked to our circadian rhythms. If required to make decisions at a time of day when energy is low, people may feel more inclined to cheat. From a business point of view, researchers speculate that managers who ask employees to make ethics-testing decisions during a low-energy period may inadvertently encourage unethical behavior.


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