Contrary to the popular excuse "not tonight, I have a headache," a new study suggests not all headache sufferers avoid sexual activity and says that sexual desire and migraine may be influenced by the same brain chemical.
In fact, migraine sufferers reported higher levels of sexual desire than those with other types of headaches, according to researchers from Wake Forest University School of Medicine and colleagues.
'Migraine patients in general may experience higher levels of sexual desire than others,' said Timothy Houle, PhD, lead author of the research and assistant professor of anesthesiology.
They appeared to be aware of this, rating their sex drive as being higher than others their age and gender.
He said the results suggest that a serotonin link may be implicated in both migraine headaches and sexual desire.
'This opens the door to consider other phenomena that have a similar neurochemical basis,' he said.
For example, there is an increased prevalence of depression in people with migraine, which is also theorised to be modulated by serotonin.
'The results support the idea that migraine, as a syndrome, is associated with other common phenomena.
Understanding of this link will help us to better understand the nature of migraine and perhaps lead to improved treatment.
The objective of the study was to examine the relationship between migraine headache and self-reported sexual desire. There is evidence of a complex relationship between sexual activity and headache.