Mothers And Doctors Describe 11 Conditions That Hurt Even Worse Than Childbirth

Gilberto Santa Rosa / e_pics - Flickr

Ever since men and women first gathered around a fire together, they've debated the age-old question: does anything hurt worse than childbirth?

Men seem to think so. In fact some soccer fans insisted  that seeing their team lose hurt just as badly as having a child.  

Turning to the two groups of experts who would actually know - mothers and doctors - we learned that a surprising number of conditions give labor pains a run for their money.

As one doctor points out, there's no "exact equivalent to pushing a human being out of your vagina." But in terms of sheer pain, these 11 conditions are just as bad:

1. Cluster Headaches or Migraines

With a severe, throbbing pain that can last for hours, migraines and other forms of headaches are no joke.

Along with the sheer pain and annoyance, migraine patients also suffer through light sensitivity, touch sensitivity, nausea, and lightheadedness.

And of course, migraines are more common for women than men. By the way, women feel all forms of pain more sharply than men, so keep that in mind as you read the rest of this list.

2. Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

Usually appearing after an injury or a surgery, CRPS is still not very well understood by doctors. What they do know is that it causes swelling, pain, and affects your skin and bones.

Doctors say that some cases are so severe patients have had their limbs amputated to stop the pain. And even treatments for the disease aren't very effective.

3. Kidney Stones

Jacupica - Wikimedia

Along with the scraping pain that can last for months, patients living with these small pieces of calcium inside their kidneys can expect fevers, chills, nausea and vomiting.

While it's a very common condition, 16,000 people die from kidney stones around the world each year, so don't underestimate them.

4. Urinary Tract Infections

Yes, it sounds a little pedestrian, but if you've lived through a UTI you know it can be very serious. In some cases the infection causes sharp, burning pain throughout your entire abdomen.

A UTI can also spread to become a kidney or bladder infection, both of which are more difficult to treat.

5. Anorectal Abscess

Bear with us, because this is a little gross. If a pus-filled abscess develops within your anus, you'll be able to tell because of the excruciating pain.

Patients report barely being able to move or sit down with an abscess, and the cure is just as bad as the disease.

“The most excruciating thing EVER," one mother reported.

"I’ve had two children (one forceps after a 29-hour labor and a third degree tear) and nothing comes close to incision and drainage of them.”

6. Pudendal Neuralgia

Don't laugh - but this rare and serious condition is a real pain in the butt. It's caused when the pudendal nerve in your pelvis is pinched, creating intense pain, and causing you to lose control of your bowels and bladder.

It's apparently much worse for men, because it also gives them “insidious constant penis pain," according to a study.

7. Gout

A U.S. survey of gout patients found that two thirds of people living with the disease call it "the worst pain possible."

Once called "rich man's disease," the swelling and joint pain caused by gout is associated with an unhealthy diet. It mainly strikes on a patient's big toe, making it too sensitive for even socks.

James Heilman - Wikimedia

8. Trigeminal Neuralgia (Forthergill's Disease)

This condition is more common in older people, but terribly painful for anyone. It's caused by an inflamed trigeminal nerve in the face, and causes a sharp, stabbing pain between the eye and the jaw.

The pain, and the fact that treatment is only effective in 80% of cases, is known to cause depression. Some patients have even committed suicide to end their suffering.

9. Root Canal

Yes, it's a medical procedure and not technically a condition, but it's one of the most excruciating procedures of all.

After drilling a hole into your tooth, the dentist rips the nerve underneath out from the root, before adding a filling to replace it.

While you're anesthetized during the procedure, the pain leaves most patients on a liquid diet for days. And normally it takes a dose of strong pain medication to keep it manageable.

10. Gallstones

Like kidney stones, gallstones form inside your body, from the bile in your gallbladder. In most cases, these small stones are painless and harmless. But severe cases can be deadly.

The irritation and pain from gallstones is known to cause nausea, vomiting, and sharp back pain. Normally the cure is to take the gallbladder out altogether.

11. Burns

Even burns that don't qualify as "third degree" can be unimaginably painful. After the pain of the burn itself fades away, the treatment begins.

Burns need to be treated with dressings that are incredibly irritating, skin grafts, and skin stretching. If just the sound of that doesn't scare you, you're braver than me.

Which one of these conditions sounds the worst?

[H/T: Men's Health, VeryWell, Metro]