In the battle of the sexes we are fiercely divided, who has a worse when it comes to pain?On the one hand, women are left with the task of fitting a watermelon sized object through a coin sized hole. On the other hand, males protest that even the slightest nick of their family jewels can leave them incapacitated.So which hurts more, childbirth or getting kicked in the balls?Before we begin, there is a rumor that is circulating the internet claiming that the human body can take up to 45 del units of pain and yet a mother feels up to 57 del of pain during childbirth,which is apparently equivalent to 20 bones being fractured at once. The claim then goes on to suggest that being kicked in the balls brings more than 9000 del of painNow, apart from the absurd logic that both of these events can surpass the alleged human limit , it actually uses a unit of pain “the del” which doesn”t even exist. There is a unit of pain once devised called the dol, from the latin word for pain “dolor” but it is not our subject now .
To really evaluate this question we first need to understand what pain is , which isn”t an easy task. There is actually a group of specialized nerve cells in your body called “nociceptors” that react to pain. Unlike other nerves which readily fire in response to normal touch or temperature, nociceptors will only fire once a certain pain threshold has been passed. Some of these “nociceptors” respond quickly sending signals to the spinal cord and brain which produce sharp and sudden pain, allowing you to react quickly while others transmit more slowly and are responsible for the prolonged dull ache you feel.
For males, some internal organs such as the liver feel no pain, others like the testicles are covered with many “nociceptors” making them extremely sensitive, because simply their well-being is of the utmost importance.Furthermore the testiclesthe vagus is nerve which is directly connected to the brains vomit center, are attached to many nerves in the stomach as well as and this is why when hit the pain spreads throughout the abdomen. The fact that testicles have minimal protection only strengthens the accompanying symptoms of nausea, increased blood pressure, heart rate and sweating. But not so fast gentlemen, even though childbirth may not be facing a direct blow to any internal organs, the mechanical distension of the uterine area also triggers”nociceptors” and causes the same kind of visceral pain. And not to mention labor lasts 8 hours on average with a mixture of nausea, fatigue and pain.
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On top of it all, tension and stretching of muscle and tissue increase as labour intensifies creating sharp and localized pain.
Okay, so both obviously hurt and have a lot of mechanical stimulation sending signals to the pain centers of the brain.
But this is where it gets tricky, because the pain isn”t simply a physical response but rather a partially perceptive or subjective experience. This means that every single individual perceives pain in a slightly different way. And not only between individuals but depending on your mood, alertness or even previous experience pain may affect you differently. It”s for this reason that so many attempts to objectively measure pain have failed including the “dol” system which I mentioned earlier.
Interestingly nearly 80% of upper limb amputees experience a phenomenon known as “phantom limb pain”.That is they feel pain in a limb that is no longer there. And while little is understood about the mechanism for the pain, it is clear that there is no particular input to trigger the response and yet they still feel a very real pain.
What I want to say , pain is not a stimulus, it is an experience that is different for everybody. Suffice to say both instances of childbirth and getting hit in the balls can hurt alot. So I call this one at tie. Apart from the fact that the experiences are completely different and there is so many variables to consider, In some instances a man could experience more pain than his female counterpart and vice versa. The main difference being one results in a newborn baby, while the other potentially results in a decreased the chance of having one.
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