A woman was taken to hospital after having a stroke while her partner performed oral sex on her.
The 44-year-old, from west London, was rushed to the A&E at West Middlesex University Hospital, in Isleworth, in an ambulance suffering from a ‘moderate headache’.
Passing out near orgasm, the woman came round after three minutes of being unconscious.
Scans later revealed a blood vessel had burst inside the unnamed woman’s skull, during the incident which is believed to have happened in October 2018.
In a report published in the medical journal BMJ Case Reports, medics didn’t explain what directly caused the stroke.
However, they described how changes in blood pressure during sex are ‘well-described’ as a cause of burst blood vessels.
The report, titled Subarachnoid haemorrhage: a sinister cause of transient loss of consciousness during oral sex, notes how the patient’s partner, whose sex is unknown, noticed the woman’s ‘body was stiff’ during the oral sex.
On her arrival at hospital, the woman had normal vital signs and was both fully awake and responsive.
She told doctors while she felt sick, she did not vomit, and had a headache at the front of her head which she described as a six out of 10 on the pain scale.
While medics initially thought the patient had suffered a seizure, the woman was diagnosed with having a subarachnoid haemorrhage.
This is an uncommon type of bleeding on the brain, with the blood being between the skull and brain.
To treat the issue, the patient had a procedure called endovascular coiling, which sees doctors inject metal into the arteries to trigger clotting and stop the bleeding.
The report adds past research, which has been conducted on people having penetrative sex, has shown how blood vessels can burst thanks to the increased blood pressure.
It is suggested oral sex could have a similar effect.
Authors Jonathan Holmes and Yunus Gokdogan wrote:
Older studies with [artery] monitoring during coitus demonstrate that during sexual activity blood pressure, as well as heart rate, is very [liable to change], with particular rises during orgasm.
If someone has a weakened blood vessel, this rise in blood pressure could cause a burst, and if this is inside the skull it can trigger a stroke.
The woman was released from hospital after 15 days. To date, she has had no lasting problems.
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Emily Murray is a journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Leeds with a BA in English Literature and History before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. Emily has previously worked for the BBC, ITV and Trinity Mirror. When Emily isn’t writing about topics including mental health and entertainment, you can find her at the cinema which is her second home.