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We sexy, sexy migraineurs…

A friend of mine sent me a link to an article about migraine over the weekend. Rest assured this was not the first time someone has sent me some information she’s found about migraine online—but it certainly was one of the few times the article title made me crack a smile. The WebMD article is titled, “Are Migraine Sufferers Sexier?”Some of you may have read about the article cited in this study—first I heard of it was a few years ago.

My first reaction post-giggle (yes, I sometimes have the mind and maturity level of a ninth grader) was to imagine myself how I looked Saturday evening, when I was so knocked out with a migraine that I only climbed out of bed to use the rest room and get a midnight snack. Looking at myself in the bathroom mirror revealed a woman who was anything but sexy—rumpled pajamas, rumpled hair, rumpled face with pillow marks, and those oh-so-sexy glazed-over migraine eyes. Was I sexier than the average person right then? Probably not.

In my more academic days, I would spend the next few pages analyzing the article’s merits, pointing out possible ways in which the original study may be flawed and maybe even comparing some of the claims to my own life. But it’s late on a weeknight, I’m a little sleepy, and I think I’d rather talk a little more simply and then hear what you have to say.

Were I in a more energetic mood, I might also point out ways in which WebMD—a good site overall but one that has far too much scope to achieve much depth and accuracy sometimes—is rife with misinformation on migraine disease.

The article brings up some good points, for sure, and I can say I can agree anecdotally with some of what the writer points out. As I’ve mentioned before on this blog, it has always seemed to me that migraineurs have a greater tendency to react to sensory and emotional stimuli than do their non-migraineur peers. This is why many of us have brains that can detect subtle flickering of light or the faintest trace of perfume. I heard a headache specialist at an NHF conference say that we should take advantage of the benefits of migraine (yep, I started to roll my eyes with that one, too, but hear me out). From an evolutionary standpoint, migraineurs have an advantage: we are extremely sensitive to our environments, attuned to the smallest changes of weather, scent, lighting, and taste. While I shy away from any claims that there is a “migraine personality,” I do think the neurologist made an interesting point and, ever since hearing him speak, I’ve tried to focus on the way my life is enriched due to my hypersensitivities.

Which brings me back to we few, we sexy few, we band of migraineurs. Am I less inclined to doubt this recent article because I want to be sexier than the average 31-year-old woman? Am I more inclined to believe the migraine specialist’s words about my specially gifted brain because this throws me in a positive light? Goodness knows if I read an article about how migraineurs were dull, insensitive, and utterly unsexy, I certainly would dismiss it (after ranting a bit in private).

So for those of you who are bold enough to share your stories, share away. Anecdotally speaking, do you think you have a higher sex drive than your non-migraineur friends? And to bring up another point the article makes: do you find that sex helps ease your migraine-related pain?

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.


  • ccr22
    7 years ago

    I’ve been told I have a pretty high sex drive… I’ve also found that if I have sex right when my migraine starts and have the “big O” it makes the pain stop.
    I also have a weird trick to easing the pain… I have a special vibrater just for my head lmao. If I turn it on and roll in over my eye and temple, the vibrations make the pain less. I have actually gotten myself to fall asleep during a migraine this was a couple of times. Of course, the pain is always back when I wake up, but the little bit of relief while I sleep is nice.

  • Benice
    7 years ago

    I don’t know if anyone thinks of themselves as sexy during a migraine, but maybe we are more sensitive. I have been told I have a high sex drive and I am very sensitive to other stimuli. I also will want to have sex at the end of a migraine, sometimes. I have tried to end a migraine with sex , thanks to a caring husband who had to be talked into it. I found that it can help if caught early or just give me 45 minutes of relief. Having chronic migraines though makes it the last thing you think of to try and cure a migraine. The article did make me grin though I too have the mind of a ninth grader at times.

  • catcharrett-dykes
    7 years ago

    never thought about it as being sexy, I’m with you,more like a hot mess…lol

    I have thought of the benefits of migraines, it seems a requirement is that you are awesome!!! as far as, my sensitivity it was my “super power” being the human barometer…thanks to stim surgery and botox i’m getting my life back. My husband thinks I’m sexy even when suffering, I roll my eyes too 🙂

  • Melancut
    8 years ago

    Hm. I never thought about the neurological predisposition toward migraines and its resultant sensitivity making me BETTER at sex. But now that you mention it, I’m totally going to claim to be.

    I’ve heard the theory that orgasm can affect migraine. Given that I have a loving, supportive husband, I’ve had some opportunity to test it out. For me, there does seem to be anecdotal evidence that if I can have sex early enough in the migraine onset, I can prevent, delay or seriously reduce pain.
    Problems: It doesn’t help if I can’t escape the environmental trigger. Also, this is a completely useless strategy at work. (In my career field, at least – your job may be different.) The final observation I’d make is that the “Isaac Hayes counteroffensive” also doesn’t work past a certain point in my migraine onset. Once it switches over from “Ugh, I’m getting a migraine” to “QUIT BLINKING YOUR EYES SO LOUD”, sex does NOT help. Even if by some miracle of spousal diligence my husband helps me get an orgasm through a full-fledged migraine, there is no noticeable reduction in pain levels. (Just whispered death threats.)

    Results will vary, of course. But at least for us, my husband perks up when he hears me say, “I think I’m getting a migraine…”

  • Mary Ortis Creighton
    8 years ago

    I would have to say it’s a mixed bag. I am more sensitive to touch, sounds, smells, … sometimes more than I wish I was! But I have had chronic migraines for about 30 years, they can really kill the mood!

  • Debra Nemeth
    8 years ago

    “Those were the days my friend, I thought they’d never end…” They did though. As this migraine crap has progessively taken over my life—Oh Yeah, I’m too sexy for my shirt–NOT! This disorder has gotten out of control in the last 18+ months. I want my life back!

  • Amy Hines Narron
    8 years ago

    When my depression & migraines were not being treated, my sex drive was crazy high. The problem is almost every time I would get a post (or even during) sex migraine. Kinda takes the fun out of it when you’re distracted by the potential of getting a headache. Now my meds, esp the depression meds, have completely derailed my drive. If I didn’t feel so bad for my husband, I could go months without it. I am dreaming of the day when my meds don’t mess with my drive, and I don’t get a migraine afterwards. Do I want it all? Yup.

    I’ve never tried using sex as a way to lessen the pain. If anyone comes near me when I have a migraine, they’re taking their life into their own hands. I claim no responsibility for what may happen to them.

    I’m most sensitive to sound, light, & weather. Though with some attacks, you can include smell, temperature, a slight breeze, the way my clothes fit…

  • Woo
    8 years ago

    I think I would have said YES when I was just having episodic migraines. But since my migraines are now chronic and daily, and have been that way for 10 years… it’s a definite libido killer. Unfortunately. Must say though that some of the drugs I’ve tried over the years have not helped – like Elavil (Amitriptyline)… Hoping to turn all this around though!!!

  • Gwendolyn Pridemore
    8 years ago

    Yes! to Higher Sex Drive (Nympho tendencies?)…*wink*… Inconclusive as to easing pain…depends how advanced the migraine is…refering to pain killing the mood. Have always been sensitive/aware of environment both indoors and out…touch/fragrance/sound/weather ect…

  • Thomas M. Lewis
    8 years ago


  • Charles Andrew Lininger
    8 years ago

    For more than two thousand years Classical Chinese medical thought has attributed the heightened sensitivity that “migraineurs” have to an energetic condition of imbalanced energy flow and the blockage that results. Clinical actions based on this may often 1) end a migraine in minutes when the flow is opened and 2) reduce or prevent the conditions that favor the occurance of migraine. I speak from both advanced training in acupuncture and clinical application of that training.

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