Pornography Headache: A Strange Condition Associated with Watching Porn


A young man from India experienced headaches whenever he watched porn. This occured for over 2 years. This headache is known as pornography headache.

He decided to consult a doctor when the pain became too much. He described the pain of the pornography headache as slow in onset. The pain increased in intensity within the first 5 minutes and reached its peak at 10 minutes.


A complete history was taken. Additionally, a physical examination and a full workup were done. These revealed no identifying cause for the pornography headache.

“This is often the case in people with primary sex headaches.”


The doctors working on his case reported that the pain may be due to increased pain sensitivity. This could have been due to increased emotions caused by watching porn.


He was prescribed Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen. He had to take these medications before watching porn. Fortunately, he reported a decline in symptoms after he took the medications.

What causes this headache?

Studies have failed to find the cause of Pornography headaches. Some studies report muscle contractions as a cause. Whereas, other studies have revealed blood vessels as the causative agent.


These headaches have a prevalence of 1%, being more common in men. Moreover, 50% of the population that has this disorder also has a history of migraines.

Points to ponder: long term effects of watching porn

Medications can temporarily relieve headaches associated with watching porn. However, the only definitive solution for this seems to be avoiding the act altogether. Medications, in the long run, cause tolerance. Tolerance means that an increased dose is required to bring out similar effects.

Therefore, management associated with disorders like this needs to incorporate counseling as a key intervention.



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