Healthy Aging in Men

Men's Orgasm Disorders: Pain, Sneezing, and Other Sexual Surprises


man-sneeze-orgasm-disorder
The center for orgasms in the brain is close to the centers for yawning and sneezing.
Corbis
Some men experience pain, headaches, and even sneezing as a result of orgasm. Here are some of men's main complaints.

Migraine headaches
"There's such a tremendous excitation of the nervous system and heavy-duty brain activity during orgasm, so it's no surprise that it could trigger a migraine for some people," says Irwin Goldstein, MD, director of San Diego Sexual Medicine and the editor in chief of The Journal of Sexual Medicine. He suggests working with a neurologist or sexual medicine specialist, who may prescribe a vasodilator (including an erectile dysfunction drug such as Viagra), a migraine medication such as Imitrex, or a neurostabilizing drug such as Neurontin. Ask your doctor if a prescription is right for you.

Abdominal pain
A likely explanation for this sort of pain is the "tremendous muscular contraction in the pelvic floor, or lower abdomen, especially around the prostate and urethra," says Dr. Goldstein, but your doctor should rule out the possibility of a prostate infection that could require antibiotics. If there's no infection, physical therapy of the pelvic floor muscles may help.

Yawning and sneezing
These aren't painful or debilitating reactions to an orgasm, but they can cause your sex partner to feel confused or insulted. One possible explanation is that in the brain, the center for orgasms is close to the centers for yawning and sneezing, says Dr. Goldstein, so one center could activate another. "If your partner yawns during sexual activity, it probably means that he or she is just sexually aroused," he says.
Lead writer: Nick Burns
Last Updated: May 14, 2008

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