"The same people who release endorphins from extreme sports activity, so a triathlon or marathon, it might be that these are the patients who release endorphins during sexual activity," Evers told LiveScience.
While doctors have suspected that sex could relieve migrains for years, this is the first time that such a large cohort of patients has been studied, said Alexander Mauskop, a neurologist and director of the New York Headache Center, who was not involved in the study.
Also, while canoodling may be a good way to feel close to a partner, it probably won't relieve migraine pain, Mauskop said. In fact, many migraine sufferers don't like to be touched when they have the headaches, because the episodes make them sensitive to light, noises and other sensations, he said.
The orgasm, and the resulting rush of endorphins, probably turns off the migraine pain, so even masturbation may be helpful, Mauskop said. For those who experience relief from migraines during sex, "having an orgasm in any way shape or form will help," he told LiveScience.