What Hurts More: Childbirth Or A Kick In The Balls? Science Answers

In response to that one debate you had in eighth-grade PD class that ended abruptly because there wasn't nearly enough coffee or cigarettes in the teacher's lounge to put up with that crap, ASAP Science has attempted to answer who has it worse: women in childbirth or men who have been kicked in the junk.

OK, so this one is hard, because there isn't an actual measurable unit of "pain", despite internet folklore on the subject. Pain is actually received by sensory neurons called nociceptors, which send nerve signals to the spine or brain. They can fire off either dull, achey pain, or sharp, OH GOD HELP (response-inducing) pain. For the testicles, which are rotten with the things due to their importance, that sharp pain is compounded by the fact that the nociceptors are connected to the stomach and the brain's vomit centre. So, that hurts.

For women, it isn't really any better. The uterus is also lined with loads of pain-firing nociceptors, and they're under duress for hours at a time during labour. And then there's the nausea, fatigue and "stretching" (and tearing and involuntary pooping, and...).

Since pain is subjective, and not really measurable, the debate is called a tie. Pain is different for different people. Though, a humble dissenting opinion might look something like: SHUT UP FOREVER SHUT UP OBVIOUSLY CHILDBIRTH IS WORSE SHUT UP. At least until the next time you see a highlight of an umpire taking a fastball to the crotch. [YouTube]

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    I woke up this morning a little hung over, and dried my my junk a little too vigorously after my shower. The result, a fairly constant pain for about a minute.... DRYING MY BALLS!

      Now all we need is to find a willing female to dry her uterus, and we can compare notes.

        Lol, or Overies.

        Last edited 27/04/13 1:29 pm

          Yeah... HETHERINGTON!!!

    Next time I cop one in the nuts, I must remember to quote "It's over 9000."

    I suppose it would also depend on the sensitivity of the individual to pain.
    I'm always amazed/amused by the rapid collapse of the smug 'women are more tolerant to pain' argument, usually followed by a loud "Ow, that HURTS !!" when they are promptly knuckle punched in the arm.

    Nerves of steel there, girl. Nerves of steel.

    You're asking the wrong question. The question should be childbirth vs renal colic (stones in the kidneys in lay language) I get the latter about once every 8 to 10 years and the medical profession keeps telling me that it's the closest pain a man can get to childbirth.

    I would far prefer not to experience any of the above. :-(

    Woman often go back for another child. How many guys have you heard say "Kick me in the balls again !!!" ????

      Does a baby pop out of your ass when you get kicked in the nuts?

      Thought not..

    IMO all pain is relative. The worst pain you have ever felt is equivalent to the worst pain that I have ever felt, because the measure of pain is subjective. When we think on how painful something is, we compare it to other sources of pain we have experienced. Sure, something might come along that is more painful, but that will just cause us to re-evaluate our past pain experiences.

    I work in healthcare and when anyone tells me, "I have a high pain threshold", I immediately know that they do not.

    mate i dont know about you but 8 hours, I mean, unless your getting kicked in the balls for 8 hours straight you cant tell me its a tie between the two.

      i've been kicked so hard i was vomitting and incapacited for an hour and nearly passed out.

      pretty sure it can be worse. plus the fact that 1 at least has something good come out of it!

    This is actually indirectly measurable I think. While you can't measure the two directly, you can measure against a third common variable of severe pain in the same sort of region - passing a kidney stone. I've known a number of women that have done both say that a kidney stone is every bit as bad childbirth. I've known a couple of guys who've passed a kidney stone say the pain is far, far worse than anything they've ever experienced.

    So I reckon it's pretty safe to say that while being kicked in the nuts is pretty painful, it has nothing on childbirth.

    Keep in mind that childbirth can last for 24, 36, 48+ hours. This is coming from someone who gave birth naturally and was in labor for 36 hours. A kick in the balls hurts really bad, I'm sure, I have never questioned that. But until it hurts for 36 hours and you push a 8 pound something out of your.... We win this one. Hands down.

    I've found having a nerve stabbed by the end of a needle hurts WAY more than a kick to the balls. That was an experience I never want again.. Though being kicked in the testicles sure does hurt A LOT.

    I had a kidney stone once.
    Worst pain I have ever been in.
    Several hours getting dosed up with pretty much every pain killer available.
    Would MUCH rather be kicked in the goolies than have another kidney stone.
    A mate of mine once told me that his mum had also had a kidney stone once and even she said child birth was not as intensely painful.

    Maybe that would be a better comparison to make / research since women can get kidney stones, but not get kicked in the berries.

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