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Migraine and “Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery”

Migrane Awareness Month

Migraines & Mojo: How has living with Migraine/Headache Disorders affected your sex life?

Migraines & Sex

*Sigh* is my immediate response when I think about sex these days. Not a happy, isn’t-sex-great? sigh, but an annoyed, frustrated sigh.

After years of the pain, nausea, dizziness, and other physical symptoms of migraine interfering with my sex life, I’m finally well enough to want to be intimate with my husband on a regular basis. Only to have orgasms, a pretty natural side effect of sex, trigger massive migraines for me. Not minor migraine attacks, but the most painful ones I currently experience. The result? My husband and I are afraid to have sex.

Here are some of the coping strategies my husband and I have developed over the years.

  • Cuddling may be the most obvious, overstated advice to keep couples connected. That’s because it works. Hold hands while you’re watching TV or spend some time spooning when you’re in bed.
  • Talk about it. If migraine is interfering with your sex life, let your partner know he or she isn’t to blame. Let them know you are still interested in sex with them even if your body keeps you from being able to follow through.
  • If orgasm is a trigger, engage in sexual activity that won’t lead the migraine-prone partner to having an orgasm. While this isn’t exactly ideal, it does keep you and your partner close.
  • Scheduling sex, the time-honored strategy of sex therapists everywhere, often doesn’t work for migraineurs. Be open to having sex whenever the desire arises. Circumstances and especially children can make this difficult, but try to seize the opportunity whenever you can.
  • Avoiding sex, while the seemingly easiest or most obvious solution, will interfere with the emotional intimacy between you and your partner. As migraine itself can drive a wedge between couples, this is a particularly dire problem. Keep the physical contact, sexual or not, going and keep talking about your feelings.

Learn more about the 2013 MHAM Blog Challenge and other MHAM events by visiting: 2013 Migraine & Headache Awareness Month Information Page

June, Migraine and Headache Awareness Month, is dedicated to Unmasking the Mystery of Chronic Headache Disorders. The Migraine and Headache Awareness Month Blog Challenge is issued by

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • katy
    5 years ago

    Thank you for posting this. I cannot wait for my bf to get home so I can talk to him about this! I’m sure it was hard to post such personal information, but for women like me, we need to read things like this!

    **I just sent him a text to let him know of the “breakthrough” I’ve discovered and he is more than happy! THANK YOU SO MUCH for the light you have shed for me!!!!!

  • Ellen Schnakenberg
    6 years ago

    I tweeted this as “Talkin’ about the things we don’t talk about”. I’m so glad you shared this here Kerrie. Talking about these issues is so very important.

  • Kerrie Smyres moderator author
    6 years ago

    Thanks, Ellen. It was gut-wrenching to think of publishing such personal information, but I know how much it would have helped me 10 years ago to see such struggles written about honestly.

  • Ellen Schnakenberg
    6 years ago

    Oh Kerrie, I wrote a post a long time ago that was VERY personal, and the messages I got from people thanking me for that openness, tells me this is going to touch others and make a difference for them. Yep, it’s so hard to do, but instead of thinking of it as *airing* anything, I think of it as having the potential to help someone who is in the same situation. Yep, sensitive stuff, but if it’s sensitive for us, and we’re used to sharing our lives with others, think how it must make others feel who aren’t as naturally open. Sending ((Hugs)) to you

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