Maybe she really does have a headache! Women who suffer from migraines 'more likely to suffer from sexual problems'
90 per cent of headache sufferers report sex problemsSexual pain and low desire common complaints
Women who suffer from frequent headaches or migraines are more likely to encounter sexual problems, say scientists.
A study found more than 90 per cent of women seeking treatment for headaches had a lower sex drive and 29 per cent said they were distressed about the situation.
Researchers are now urging doctors to make the connection when treating patients.
In many cases headaches increased feelings of anxiety, while migraines and tension-type headaches were associated with sexual pain and low desire
In many cases headaches increased feelings of anxiety, while migraines and tension-type headaches were associated with sexual pain and low desire.
The research team from the University of Pavia in Italy concluded:'Women referred for severe head pain report a high rate of sexual symptoms and sexual distress.
'Further studies are needed to gain a
better insight into the determinants of this over representation of
sexual dysfunction in women treated for primary headaches.'
The study involved 100 women, with an
average age of 40, who were being treated for headaches they'd suffered
Most had migraines; some had tension headaches or chronic
headaches (meaning they had headaches more than 15 days per month).
Researchers interviewed each participant,
gave them neurological tests and assessed their medical histories.
The women also completed questionnaires about their sex lives.
found 91 of the participants' scores on a questionnaire showed they had
sex problems beyond what would be considered within the normal range.
20 percent of the women met the criteria for having hypoactive sexual
desire disorder, where a persistently low sex drive causes personal
distress. A further 17 percent reported having a low sex drive, but not
feeling distressed about it.
The researchers highlight that although headaches are a common complaint little is known
about how they can affect sexual performance.
In the study, published in the journal of Sexual Medicine, they attempt to explain the
link between headaches and sex problems.
They note that people with headaches often have mood
disorders such as depression and anxiety, which affect sex drive
and satisfaction, while medication taken to treat headaches can also interfere with sex.
More than 10 million people in the UK get headaches, making them one of the most common health complaints.