Ouch, or rather quite a lot of expletives I can't print here! There is no denying the fact that childbirth hurts. Everything hurts from pregnancy, to labour to physically pushing that baby out and then recovering from that trauma. And yes it is a trauma. During childbirth your body undergoes an incredible amount of stress and strain which inevitably leaves your body worn and feeling broken. But is it the worst pain you will ever feel? There is a suggestion that childbirth is only as painful as you make it as the pain level comes down to a number of factors including anxiety and body positioning. There are plenty of ways to combat the pain which may or may not help you. Regardless, the pain must be dealt with.
There has also long been a debate about whether it is more painful to give birth or be kicked in the crown jewels. Of course, there is no clear cut way of measuring pain levels and everyone's experience of pain is different so we will never really know the answer to this long asked question. Either way, there is no denying the pain that comes with childbirth but how bad is it really?
While everyone has different pain thresholds, it's fairly safe to say that labour and birth is exponentially more painful than many heinous pains in life, but is there anything more painful than pushing a human being out of your body?Well, apparently there is! Here are 15 things we discovered that are undeniably more painful than giving birth. What do you think? Do you agree or was childbirth the most painfull thing you've ever experienced?
15 Broken Ribs
Thankfully, I can only imagine the pain of broken ribs having never injured myself in such a horrific way. But my other half has pulled every muscle in his chest when he was a teenager and he said that it was the most excruciating pain of his life. Obviously, he has no comparison to childbirth but the pain was very, very real.
Breaking or fracturing your ribs is usually caused by a fall or a heavy blow. The pain can be incredibly intense as it takes over your entire chest and travelling through your arms shoulders and back. Symptoms of broken or fractured ribs include: strong pain in the chest area, especially when taking a breath; swelling or tenderness around the chest area; bruising, but not always, on the skin; and of course feeling or hearing a crack if a rib is broken. It goes without saying, that you will need to attend the hospital if you damage your ribs.
We've probably all suffered the incredibly pain of a toothache at some stage in our lives so you will probably be able to relate to the pain it brings, but would you consider it to be a worse pain than childbirth? Many women actually do but I suppose that depends on how tough their birth was and how bad that tooth was!
The pain associated with a toothache ranges from jaw pain, headache, gum pain and possible neuralgia in the face. The pain is longlasting and constant which is why it's important to see your dentist as soon as possible. The pain of a toothache and the pain of childbirth seems like it would be incomparable as they seem to be two drastically different experiences but many have said that the gnawing and jabbing pain of a toothache is worse than the pain of delivering a baby. Do you agree?
13 Broken Stitches
If you had a C Section and suffered the unbearable pain of busting those stitches open you will know the pain we are talking about here. Stitches themselves can be quite painful as they heal. Stitching will distort the sensitive area of the wound which pulls on the skin. Any movement will cause discomfort if not pain and the likes of sneezing and coughing will hurt the wound area as the stitches pull the wound closed. And that's with healthy stitches.
When those stitches break the pain can be unbearable. The open wound is susceptible to infection and the wound can pull and tug creating pain. Broken stitches should be seen to straight away by a healthcare practitioner to avoid any infections or problems and possibly be resutured.
12 Trigeminal Neuralgia
Also known as Fothergill’s disease, Trigeminal Neuralgia is a neuropathic disorder which is caused by inflammation of the fifth (trigeminal) nerve. This nerve is situation from the eye down to the jaw and can result in incredible instant pain for the sufferer.
The pain is extreme and jumps in sporadic or sudden burning or shock-like facial pain. It can always appear like an intense stabbing pain quite like a knife. Unlike suffering through labour there is no epidural which can help ease this type of nerve pain and there are very few treatment options that can help. Sadly, the pain is said to be so severe and frequent that sufferers have pondered suicide. Thankfully, we can't say that about the pain of childbirth so I think it's safe to say that the pain of trigeminal neuralgia is worse than giving birth.
11 Cluster Headaches And Migraines
I have been a migraine sufferer for over fifteen years and I absolutely would not wish a migraine attack on my worst enemy. An attack can last for days and the pain can be so unbearable that it is difficult to even walk. The intense throbbing, the blurred vision and eye pain, the nausea and dizziness are uncontrollable until you find something that can fight back against the intensive headache. Strong medication, a darkened room and knowing your personal triggers can help but not prevent an attack.
Cluster headaches can be similar to that of migraines but are considered much more intense. In fact, cluster headaches are considered to be one of the most intensive pains that we know. Many have already declared that the pain is much worse than that of childbirth. Cluster headaches are intensive and consistent headaches which can last from four to twelve weeks with up to eight episodes a day lasting from ten minutes to an hour. The pain stops almost as abruptly as it started but it is unpredictable.
10 Kidney Stones
It's possible to have kidney stones and not know until they pass into your ureter, at which point you will definitely know that you have them. The pain can shift from one area to another as the stones travel. But what are they? "Kidney stones form when your urine contains more crystal-forming substances — such as calcium, oxalate and uric acid — than the fluid in your urine can dilute. At the same time, your urine may lack substances that prevent crystals from sticking together, creating an ideal environment for kidney stones to form." - Mayo Clinic.
Someone with kidney stones will severly suffer with them until they are removed. They may experience severe pain in their side and in their back, or just below their ribs. That pain can radiate from the around the ribs to the lower abdomen and down to the groin. The pain is intense but comes in waves. A sufferer may also feel pain when urinating and experience nausea and vomiting with fever and chills if an infection is present. Needless to say, the pain of kidney stones is quite severe and some have said it was worse than giving birth but would you agree?
9 Severe Burns
I am so very thankful that I have not experienced a severe burn in my life and I can only imagine how incredibly painful it actually is. Pain management for burns is a difficult thing to tackle considering there are varying levels and degrees of burns which need addressing. From first degree burns which are considered mild, to second degree burns which can cause pain, redness, swelling, and blistering.
The pain of burns can be so severe and unyielding that it is said to be one of the toughest pains to endure. "Burn pain can be one of the most intense and prolonged types of pain. Burn pain is difficult to control because of its unique characteristics, its changing patterns, and its various components. In addition, there is pain involved in the treatment of burns, as the wounds must be cleansed and the dressings changed." - Mayo Clinic
Gout is one of those intensive pains you wouldn't wish on anyone. It is a form of an arthritis type pain which results in an attack of incredibly sudden burning pain with a stiffness, and swelling in a joint, more often than not, a big toe. Gout attacks reappear and can continually happen until the gout is treated. If left untreated, severe cases of Gout can, over time, harm your joints, tendons, and other tissues.
Gout is caused by, "too much uric acid in the blood. Most of the time, having too much uric acid isn't harmful. Many people with high levels in their blood never get gout. But when uric acid levels in your blood are too high, the uric acid may form hard crystals in your joints." - WebMd. You are more susceptible to suffering Gout if you are overweight or drink too much alcohol.
7 Pain In The Behind...Literally
Pudendal Neuralgia is quite literally a pain in the butt. This severe and unwanted pain can be caused by simply falling down and significantly damaging the nerve. The pain can be very uncomfortable and distressing as it takes over a significant portion of your lower body.
"Pudendal neuralgia is a type of long-term (chronic) pelvic pain that originates from damage or irritation of the pudendal nerve." - NHS. The pain can affect the lower buttocks, the area between the buttocks and genitals, around the rectum, vulva, labia, and clitoris in women and scrotum and penis in men. It is an intense and difficult to manage condition with symptoms including: burning, knife like pain, numbness, constipation, pain and straining with bowel movements, straining or burning when urinating and painful intercourse. Ouch ouch ouch is all I can say.
6 Clitorial Hood Cyst
A Clitorial Hood Cyst or Bartholin Cyst is actually quite a common complaint for women which is why we trust a woman who says it is more painful than giving birth. Chances are she's experienced both. These cysts, which are glands that become blocked or infected, lead to bumps that can get pretty big. They are positioned in a way that can mean they are consistently being aggravated and can be incredibly painful if not treated.
Some cysts are clear, others are pus filled. Either way, the cyst can be drained by your doctor if necessary or may possibly go away on their own by soaking the area in warm water over a few days. If the cyst is infected, an antibiotic will be necessary to clear it and ease the pain.
If you've experienced Shingles before in your life you will know how unbearably excruciating the rash associated with Shingles is. "Shingles comes from reactivation of a chickenpox virus. The virus travels down nerve fibers to cause a painful skin rash." - WebMD.
For most when the rash disappears, which usually takes a few weeks, the pain subsides also but for a minority the pain can last for up to twelve weeks after the rash vanishes. This is called postherpetic neuralgia. It is a form of neuropathic pain that can last for months after the virus is no longer active. Shingles, which are the result of painful nerve damage, must be treated to relieve the sufferer's pain. It is not a cure but rather a pain management solution which can help the sufferer manage the intense pain.
4 Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome is one of the most debilitating pains known to us. The condition usually affects a single limb, either an arm or a leg. Ordinarily the condition develops after a stroke or sudden injury but the pain associated with the condition is incomparable to that of the initial injury.
The symptoms associated with the condition include: burning or throbbing pain which is continuous, swelling of the painful area with changes in skin temperature, texture and colour. The sufferer will experience joint stiffness, swelling and damage with muscle spasms likely and a decreased movement range. The pain is so severe and so debilitating that sufferers have been known to ask their doctor to cut the affected limb off. Quite extreme, but that's how tough this condition is.
3 Sensitive Area Tattoos
Since this one is a personal choice, the sufferer only has themselves to blame! I have three tattoos myself and have always classed the pain as a cat scratching repeatedly on my skin. Enough to draw blood and make me cringe. I wouldn't say it's the worst pain I've ever experienced and certainly wouldn't say that it is worse than childbirth. However my tattoos are not on any sensitive parts of my body.
Some have said that getting a tattoo done on the inner arm, under the breasts and in the nether regions are the worst pains they have ever felt. But is it worse than childbirth? The pain can be very intense and hard to control. A lot of it is mind over matter to sit still and get the tattoo finished but the pain is very real. Grown men have bawled crying getting a large tattoo completed and I'm not surprised, the pain can make out weak, nauseous and almost want to cry for your Mum. But could a grown man suffering a tattoo go through childbirth any better?
2 Burst Ovarian Cyst
Ordinarily, a burst ovarian cyst is harmless and painless but on the rare occasion when a cyst ruptures it can be incredibly painful causing more severe symptoms.
An ovarian cyst is a fluid filled sac that forms inside or on an ovary. In some cases, it can rupture and break open causing pain to the sufferer. Severe pain shows as pain in the lower abdomen and bleeding. If you ever have symptoms such as this, you should see your doctor straight away so that treatment can be arranged. You may even need to be hospitalized and surgery may possibly be necessary although this is in rare and extreme cases.
I can only imagine what the severe pains of a burst cyst would be like and I hope to never have to experience it, especially if some consider it to be more painful than childbirth.
1 Water Infection
A water infection also commonly known as urinary retention can be a nauseating pain if not treated properly and on time. Generally, these infections are caused by bacteria and can be prevented with proper care. Unfortunately, however, they are quite common. If you've suffered from a water infection, was the pain so excruciating that you would deem it worse than giving birth?
"Urinary retention can be a cause of bladder infection. If urinary retention becomes more serious causing pain and kidney dysfunction, Foley catheters may become necessary to empty the bladder and relieve the bladder pressure caused by excessive retention of urine." - Medicine Net
One Reddit user said that having a water infection was was worse than giving birth. "I'd give give birth ten times over rather than go through the pain of a water infection again." She said she was "crawling on the floor and crying" with the pain.
Sources: NHS, WebMD, MedlinePlus, Mayo Clinic