Background: Headaches associated with sexual intercourse (coital cephalgia) have many different causes and are often divided in the literature into pre-orgasmic and orgasmic headaches.
Objective: To present a case of orgasmic headache caused by a basilar artery dissection and to present a literature-based guide to the diagnosis and management of patients presenting with headaches related to sexual activity.
Case report: We report the case of a 34-year-old man without significant past medical history who presented to the Emergency Department with two episodes of orgasmic headache caused by basilar artery dissection.
Conclusions: The cause of headaches related to sexual activity range from the benign to the life-threatening. Due to the dynamics of cerebral blood flow during sexual intercourse, basilar artery dissections and aneurysms should be considered in patients with sudden-onset headaches during orgasm. Appropriate brain imaging and, possibly, lumbar puncture may assist in identifying potentially life-threatening causes of coital headaches.
Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.