Kick to the nuts VS Childbirth: the Missing Link in the Pain Competition

It is a debate that seems to be unsolvable. There’s plenty of “science” supporting both sides:

kicked in the nuts pain versus childbirth

kicked in the nuts pain childbirth

internet education childbirth

Yeah. Well, you can throw out all kinds of numbers (that come from facebook posts, so they MUST be true right??) but I can end this debate once and for all!

Not today, but I will be the one to end it.

You see….


Biology lesson time!

While in the womb, if a fetus is male, it will grow balls. If the fetus is female, then the stuff that would become balls if it were male becomes ovaries. Therefore, ovaries = testicles. Therefore, a woman would experience the same pain as men if she were kicked in the ovaries. Luckily, though, our ovaries are nested safely under muscle, bones, and other organs, which means they never take a direct hit.

At least, they’re not supposed to.

Do you remember the story of my diagnosis? I told you I woke up in intense pain that nothing could ease, but I did not explain why. Yes, it was this episode of pain that eventually got me diagnosed with endometriosis, and endo definitely had something to do with it, but it didn’t pull it off alone.

After my surgery, my doc said that part of my large intestine/colon was not shaped right. Even after years, I still don’t entirely know what that means exactly. I’ve looked at so many diagrams of the digestive system, and can’t find a place where it seems like this is possible. All I do know is somewhere along that track of digestive tubing, there’s a loose bit. Instead of being safely nestled in one spot, it kind of swings around. I asked my doc if he did anything about it, and he said there’s nothing to do. I then rattled off a billion solutions, like just one little stitch to hold it in place, or some kind of tape like job, or removing part of it so it’s shorter – apparently that’s all crazy talk, and it’s much better to just let it do what it wants.

The problem is that it’s evil incarnate, and I don’t like letting it do whatever it wants because it’s all EVIL.

Here’s what really happened on that fateful morning.

I was sleeping like an angel, minding my own business, when I must have rolled over or snuggled or curled up or uncurled or moved in some way that was NOT drastic at all, which caused my loose tube to come crashing down on my ovary. So I was essentially woken up by the equivalent of being kicked in the balls. My large intestine had been doing it’s job, so it was full of food and waste and whatever, so it was extra heavy. But, actually, this instance was worse than just being kicked in the balls. My “balls” happened to be covered in endometriosis at the time. Which I suppose would be comparable to having open sores all over your testicles and THEN sustaining a kick to them. But that’s STILL not all!

evil wake up call

Even though my rebellious colon can swing around, it still doesn’t have a ton of room. So on this particular morning, it got stuck. Crushing the crap out of my ovary. Obviously I eventually must have twisted just right (or taken enough vicodin) to relieve the crushing. But not for a few hours.

I hope women and men are wincing alike at this story.

So that was a pretty extraordinary circumstance, so it doesn’t really count in the grand debate of kicked vs. birth. Even though it was likely much worse than either one. But don’t worry. Like I said, my doctor is letting my little devil colon do whatever it wants, so I have experienced a good swift “kick” a few times since then. I’m very familiar with the feeling and the degree of pain. So, I’m the missing link.

Since the only cure for Endo (ironically) is childbirth, I should be able to settle this once and for all very soon.

Stay tuned! Life’s mysteries revealed!


A note on “April Fools Day:”

This post is 100% true and not a joke. I realized towards the end of writing it that it’s stupid April 1st and that means the internet will be full of fake stories that I’ll totally fall for and I hate that.

Just a public service announcement: I will never post a “prank” post on this site. In fact, April 1st is a very solemn day for my family and I. This is the 15 year anniversary of the day my sister was diagnosed with a brain tumor after falling unconscious in her kindergarden class. Today she’s happy and healthy. But after that emergency call from her teacher, we take whatever news we get today pretty seriously, and that’s why I hate prank news on the internet! I will always fall for it. Gah.

17 thoughts on “Kick to the nuts VS Childbirth: the Missing Link in the Pain Competition

    1. I have written about this in much greater detail here:

      But I should have put more of a disclaimer: I am not a doctor, but my personal doctor has concluded that in my particular case pregnancy is likely to cure endo. Pregnancy is known to sometimes cure endo with many different factors involved. But every woman is different, and location and severity of endo in the body makes a big difference. In my case, I’ve had two surgeries to remove endo, and my doctor worked on reshaping my uterus a little in both. But of course, the best way to reshape a uterus? Put a baby in it!

    1. I sort of have. I talked to a GI specialist about a few issues, and of course the colon came up. He agreed with my other doctor that it’s too delicate an organ to operate on, in the way I’m suggesting…which, another disclaimer, is TOTALLY uneducated guessing. But he did say that we can try anti-spasm drugs to stop it from throwing itself around. The first round of drugs made me very ill, the second round just seemed to put me to sleep, but it’s looking like the third time’s the charm! Of course, it’s not a 100% fix, but it has largely solved the problem of my wiggly insides. 🙂 If you’d like more info, I can get you specific medication names and describe more in detail how it works, but this is a good overview of what eventually happened with my swinging colon. 🙂

  1. I like that the pain arguments always start with the premise that childbirth (or getting kicked in the balls) are more painful than the maximum the body can bear. Pretty sure if that were true, it would kill you… because you couldn’t bear it.

  2. Endometriosis is a very painful disease from all that I have heard from a dear friend who has it. Sorry for your pain! You do have a sense of humor–and that sustains you! Oh dear–I wish YOU love crystals to heal you! I will find out more info on this center in Wisconsin that deals with only Endometriosis and send it on to you. HUGS!

    1. Thanks so much for all the kind words! I do try to keep a sense of humor about it all. Life just gets so ridiculous sometimes that I can’t help but laugh. I’m glad I can make others laugh too. 🙂

  3. Somehow I ended up here from a search on relief from kidney stones. Hmm…must have been all those references to, say, “PAIN BAD ENOUGH TO MAKE YOU INSANE”. The experience you describe sounds exactly like what I go through maybe once every two years if I get a worse-than-average kidney stone. I live in dread of the next bad one. (Some are worse than others.)

    On the subject of relative levels of pain, I can draw a line of reason to some tentative conclusions. I inherited my kidney stone problem from my Norwegian grandmother, who reported that her stones were, by far, the most painful thing she had ever experienced. (She gave birth to all her children the old-fashioned way, in a farmhouse with a bottle of ” brennvin” to take the edge off.) So a bad kidney stone is worse than even natural childbirth. I know kidney stones and childbirths are not all the same for each person, so this finding isn’t the definitive answer. There probably isn’t one. But you know fro experience what real, EXCRUCIATING pain is like, and you made it through to the other side. So I wouldn’t fear childbirth if I were you.

    On the subject of comparing other types of pain of a blow to the testicles, that is very subjective, too, and it seems to vary somewhat from man to man. What I will say is that the sensation is unique in its quality. There may be greater pain intensities, but ounce for ounce, the low blow is the most hideous physical sensation that life has to offer, utterly unique in its ghastly wretchedness. The pain isn’t even nessecarily the worst part, though even in that area it is on a par with a kidney stone. It’s all the other dreadful layers of suffering on top of the pain that put it into its own class of suffering. In the physical realm I had the cramping, aching agony that spreads to my entire midsection and shot down my thighs. I had the most intense nauseated discomfort imaginable. Think of the cringing feeling you get from hearing fingernails on a chalkboard, and then try to imagine that about a billion times stronger. There was a creeping paralysis that turned my legs to solid lead and not only interfered with my breathing, but even caused my heart to struggle to keep beating (that scared the Hell out of me). My skin had turned light bluish gray, and sweat was pouring out of it at the same time as I was shaking uncontrollably. I blacked out two times. Though my memory is fuzzy about some details, I’m pretty sure I was in neurogenic shock at that point. Though death from that is uncommon, it does happen.

    And if all that’s not enough, there is the way it toys with your mind. I felt an inexplicable, overwhelming sensation of dread reminiscent of when you wake up from a terrible nightmare and can’t shake that haunted feeling that some unspeakable fate awaits you. Then there is the terrifying feeling (and objective reality) of your utter helplessness to stop what your central nervous system is doing to itself or defend yourself from further injury if the person who did this to you is still standing over you with unknown intent. I can’t think of a more intimidating experience.

    Mind you, this was all from just a moderately hard slap upward from a palm followed by a quick forward rake with the fingertips. By no means was it anything with full force, and it left no lasting injury or even the slightest visible mark on me. I don’t even want to try to imagine what a real injury would feel like. Given a choice between that and a cyanide pill, I’d probably go for the cyanide.

    So, yes, the little taps and bumps you see men take from time to time as part of a prank are no big deal. We get a little sickening discomfort that we frequently play up for humorous effect or sympathy. But as soon as the blow lands any harder than how you might slap someone’s back for a hearty congratulations, that enters a whole different realm of trauma. It’s really serious and really, really bad.

    1. Very eloquently put, thanks for writing all that out! It’s really hard to compare one kind of pain to another. In my own experience, the worst pain I’d say I’d ever been in would be chronic pain – that’s the only thing that’s ever landed me in an emergency room. I cry and it’s unbearable, but extremely different from pain sustained from an injury. I tripped and fell – hard – on concrete recently and even though I wouldn’t rate the pain worse than chronic pain or pain from surgery, the shock plus the pain had me scream-crying harder than I ever have in an emergency room. Pain is very odd and sooooo many factors change the experience of it. A busted knee was less painful but yielded the stronger physical reaction – any bystander who saw me in both situations, though, would probably say I was in worse pain from the fall than from illness. I wouldn’t say that – but my reactions would! We probably need more words for pain, as “pain” really covers a broad array of physical reactions (and don’t get me started on the pain scale). 😉

  4. I had a cyst rupture on my right ovary, I’ve had them before so I knew what was coming and knew the pain would end soon. Except it didn’t end and I had passed out from so much pain when I woke up on the kitchen floor I had no idea what was going on all I knew was I was in so much pain. The cyst ruptured at 12 am by 10 am I was in the ER the doctors thought it was my appendix so after a few times of pressing on my stomach and not knowing for sure if it was my appendix or gallbladder they done a CT scan. It was in fact my right ovary. They called the OBGYN team in and they done a vaginal ultrasound (they hit my ovary and my stomach started spazzing which caused more intense pain) they admitted me into the hospital kept me over night my blood level kept dropping the next day not sure as to what was causing my blood level to drop thinking it was just they cyst still bleeding they decided to do surgery to remove the cyst. When they got me into surgery I had a liter of blood in my abdomen a 5 cm cyst had peeled open my right ovary which is where all the blood came from they had to remove my right ovary and Fallopian tube. My experience would be equivalent to a mans testicals being cut open and bleeding out for 3 days.

    1. That’s crazy! But sounds very familiar. Every time I go to the ER they do a CT scan to make sure it’s not the appendix. I can’t really tell them that’s not it because with my luck I’m sure that would be the time it really was my appendix! But that just sounds like a perfect storm cyst-wise. That sounds extremely painful. RIP ovary. :_(

  5. Sorry to hear about the nightmare your condition puts you in. That does sound awful! It’s surely an interesting claim to fame that you’re one of the few women who’s been “kicked in the balls” though! Lol.

    I don’t have kids yet, so I can’t judge the childbirth side of things. I did once knee my boyfriend in the balls though. We’d been going to self-defense classes together, and were practicing/sparring at home. He played “a prank” on me while we were practicing and pulled my sports bra off so I was completely topless, claiming that he was “simulating something an attacker might do”. I was absolutely furious, because we hadn’t been going out that long and I wasn’t comfortable with him doing that, so I just walked up close to him while his guard was down and kneed him right in the privates as hard as I could.

    I’d never actually done that to a man before, so I wasn’t sure how effective it would really be. It turns out the answer was “very”. He was instantly incapacitated and collapsed moaning on the floor. He couldn’t speak for about 5 minutes and couldn’t stand up for about 20. I did kinda feel bad at how much agony I inflicted, although it seemed like a totally fair response to what he did. I just didn’t expect it to remove a man’s ability to function so completely like that. So while I can’t know exactly how much it hurt, I definitely got the impression it was pretty unbearable.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s