How painful are kidney stones?

Pain is Weakness Leaving the Body

Anytime I have ever been hurt or injured and there is a mother in the vicinity they always tell me ” you think that hurts, try giving birth”. If this was biologically possible, who knows I might try it out to see what all the fuss is about. Since this is obviously impossible, I decided to do some research of my own.

Scientist have confirmed that a human being can bear up to 45 Del (units) of pain. A woman who is giving birth can feel up to 57 Del (units) of pain or deltorphins (or more correctly dols, an abbreviation for dolorimeters). This is comparable to the kind of pain you would feel if you had 20 bones fractured at the same time.

Some men say passing a kidney stone is as painful, if not more, than giving birth. If being kicked in the nads (testicles) is rated at 9,000 dels of pain, then passing kidney stones should be at least twice as painful. Getting kicked in the nads would be like fracturing 3200 bones at the same time or delivering 160 kids at once!

Sounds kind of hard to believe but here is an important fact to remember: being kicked in the nuts can be severely painful but it usually only last up to a couple minutes, 20 max. Giving birth usually last for many hours and in some cases, over 20 hours.

Ladies, next time you think about kicking a man in the nads, remember the amount of pain it can cause and is similar to giving birth. For you men, remember that women can tolerate a lot of pain and no woman should ever be considered weak.


He added that due to the ongoing and excruciating nature of a burn, that this is not just limited to the most serious cases of third degree burns but burns in general.

Pudendal neuralgia

Originating in the anus, this pain can be excruciating and the cause can be as simple as sitting down at a bad angle or falling to the ground. It can affect men more due to the fact that the pain often passes into the penis causing constant discomfort.

It has been described medically as an ‘insidious constant penis pain.’ Which just makes you squirm, doesn’t it?

Cluster headaches

Often described as the ‘worst possible pain’, these intense and focused waves of agony tend to affect one side of the head, usually behind the eyes.

Dr Christo said: ‘It’s probably the worse pain imaginable. I’ve had patients say it’s worse than labour pain or burns.’

Clitoral hood cyst

Ask any woman if they’d rather endure labour or have a CYST UNDER THE CLITORIS, then I am confident that 100% would choose the former.

One mum told BabyCenter: ‘Imagine your most sensitive ladybits being swollen, throbbing and with no form of relief. I couldn’t walk, sit stand…nothing. I wanted to die.’


Other mums reasoned that the fact that childbirth is a beautiful experience as well as a painful one and that the outcome is holding your own child in your arms, that pointless agonies such as toothaches, broken bones and CLITORIS LUMPS seem all that more worse.

Another argued that a woman’s body was designed to give birth and claimed on Mumsnet that labour was akin to a heavy gym workout. You can imagine how that claim went down.

You may also notice that I deliberately left out the ‘kick to the balls is worse’ argument. That’s one for another day.

MORE: Why non punishment discipline is the best way to bring up your children

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Find out moreKidney stones can cause severe pain in the lower back area. There is also often nausea and vomiting.

IT IS a ‘fact’ men don’t quibble with if they have any sense – nothing compares to the pain of childbirth.

But now medics who dared to question the assumption have found it isn’t actually true.

They discovered that, when objectively assessed, having kidney stones is more painful than being in labour.

Mothers who had experienced both childbirth and kidney stones, often rated the latter as the more painful of the two experiences, the research team found.

Most men who had suffered kidney stones said they imagined what they had been through wasn’t nearly as bad as having a baby.

Study author Saiful Miah, clinical lecturer in urology at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London, said: ‘We asked 19 women who had experienced both kidney stones and childbirth which was more painful. The majority thought their kidney stone pain was a lot worse than childbirth.

‘But when we asked men who’d experienced kidney stones what they imagined was worse, most imagined childbirth was worse.’

Mr Miah said he worked with a consultant urologist early in his career who would ask women to assess how bad their pain was when trying to diagnose their problem.

This was because in those days, there was only occasional access to the type of scanner now used to help diagnose kidney stones accurately. He added: ‘This consultant would often ask women who had been through childbirth, “what’s more painful: what you are experiencing now, or giving birth?”

‘If the woman said, “actually this is more painful,” the consultant would say, “there’s your diagnosis – it’s kidney stones.”?’

The results of the study have just been published in the Journal of Pain Research. Of the 19 women questioned, 12 said kidney stones were more painful and another three ‘felt that the intensity of pain was similar’. Four said childbirth was more painful.

Mr Miah went on: ‘What’s interesting is that when a woman goes into labour, she will rapidly get all sorts of painkillers and attention.

‘But with kidney stones, a lot of people just have to suffer.’

Kidney stones are small, hard masses that form in the kidneys, consisting of minerals such as calcium. The pain is felt when they pass down the ureters from the kidneys to the bladder.

One option for dealing with them is so-called ‘conservative’ treatment, where nature is left to take its course.

Patients are given painkillers but otherwise told to go away, grin and bear it.

Mr Miah said: ‘They can take two to four weeks to pass. It’s the most painful way, but it does mean you don’t have to be operated on.’

Other methods include surgical removal or blasting them with high-frequency shock waves, to shatter them into tiny fragments. The method chosen often depends on how big the stones are and where they are positioned.

© Mail On Sunday

Kidney stones is a common illness that appears as pains in the loin, the side or in the bottom of the stomach. The pain is very strong and can cause nausea and vomiting. If you have an attack of kidney stone and have a fever at the same time, you must call the doctor immediately.

Kidney stones is a very common illness, more common than for example gallstone and appendicitis. The illness occurs three times as often with men than with women. Almost one out of every five men in Denmark is struck with kidney stones at some point in their life. Kidney stones are seen most often between 30 to 40 years of ages but occurs in all ages.

Kidney stones consist of chalk and other salts found in the urine. Under certain conditions, chalk and the salts are gathered and settle like stones. Kidney stones can be located in the renal pelvis, the ureter, the urine bladder or the urinary tract.

First, kidney stones appears as pain. Where the pain is located depends on where the kidney stone is located. If the kidney stone is located in the renal pelvis, the pain is located in the loin or the side. If the kidney stone is in the ureter, the pain is felt in the bottom of the stomach and radiate down into the scrotum or labia. Kidney stone in the bladder appears as a sudden stop of urination because the stone shuts off the urine. When the kidney stone enters the urinary tract, the pain is located in the penis or vagina.

The pain associated with kidney stone has a rapid onset, is very strong and prolonged. The pain lasts from half an hour to a few hours but in rare cases it can, however, last both half a day or 24 hours.

Together with the pain, there is often nausea and vomiting. If you have an attack of kidney stones, you are agonised and uneasy. Many people perform gyrations, hoping to find a position that can relieve the pain. Some times – but not that often – you can spot blood in the urine with the naked eye.

Kidney stone can prevent the passing of urine from the kidney and outward. Therefore, urine is accumulated above the kidney stone. If this goes on for more than 2 weeks the kidney is damaged because the urine presses the kidney. Luckily, most kidney stones are so small that they are flushed out with the urine. When the stone has exited the body, you are cured – this time around. That is to say, it appears that once you have had kidney stone, there is a great risk that you will have another later on.

A feared complication to kidney stones is inflammation in the urine. If this happens, you have a high fever and chills apart from the already mentioned pains caused by the kidney stone. The inflammation poses a risk of damage to the kidneys.

Avoiding the pain of kidney stones

If you’ve had a stone, the problem is likely to recur — but it doesn’t have to. Use these strategies for prevention.

Published: July, 2018

The pain associated with kidney stones has been described by some as more excruciating than childbirth. Kidney stones are small, hard stones, formed when high levels of minerals in your urine start to crystallize in your kidneys, forming a pebble-like mass. The pain comes when these stones migrate from your kidneys through the ureters, which are the narrow tubes that carry urine from your kidneys into your bladder.

“Kidney stone pain is not subtle,” says Dr. Gary Curhan, a professor of epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. It typically starts in the flank, at the side of the lower back. Sometimes if the stone moves, the pain migrates to the front of the body.

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Must doctors follow their own advice?

The issue often comes up when the obese doctor or the doctor who smokes advises a patient to lose weight or stop smoking. But I recently got to ponder the issue more personally when the severe pain of a kidney stone hit. Despite the extreme discomfort, I continued to work. But would I advise my patients to do the same?

The pain of kidney stones is distinctive because it is excruciating yet intermittent. A mixture of salts and minerals, stones form in the kidneys of susceptible individuals and often stay put, causing no symptoms. But they can cause severe pain — as severe as that associated with childbirth — when the body decides to send them out of the kidney and into the long, thin ureters that connect with the bladder.

As is often the case, the first sign I had a stone was blood in my urine. Within hours, though, I was having “10 out of 10” pain in my left flank area. I went to an emergency room, where doctors gave me intravenous fluids and increasing doses of pain medications. A CT scan revealed, as I suspected, a stone stuck in the middle of the left ureter.

It was very small, only three millimeters in diameter. This was good news. The stone would most likely pass by itself, and I would not need extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy, a technology that uses high-energy sound waves to break up larger stones, say five to 10 millimeters in diameter, that won’t move.

But there is a downside to waiting. Even when patients drink lots of fluids, smaller stones may not pass for quite a while. In the meantime, periodic bouts of severe pain are likely to return.

This is exactly what happened to me over the next four days. Out of the blue, my flank would begin to hurt again. Although I immediately took pain pills, they took a while to start working. In the meantime, I would be moaning in agony, writhing on the floor, trying desperately to find a comfortable position.

My family was perplexed and, it should be said, a little irritated at my decision to stay the course. “Why don’t you just get it taken care of?” my wife asked.

I had my reasons. Being a physician, I always first think, “Do no harm.” I knew that as long as I did not develop a complication from the stone — most likely an infection above the obstruction — I was in no great danger. And while lithotripsy is well established and largely safe, it nevertheless has side effects, most notably bleeding, infection or, should the stone shards that are left come to obstruct the ureter, more pain. Nevertheless, I consulted with a family friend and urologist, who was willing to do the lithotripsy – just in case.

I also continued to work. Between bouts of pain, I felt totally fine and very productive. Fortunately, the pain hit only once when I was seeing a patient, and it was toward the end of the session. And on two other occasions I was able to close the door to my administrative office until the pain subsided.

I experienced my last bout of pain six days after the episode began. It was mild and in my groin, suggesting that the stone was moving down the ureter into the bladder. When I saw what looked like grains of sand in my urine, most likely the remnants of a stone that had broken up by itself, I knew the episode was over.

So was it crazy for me to go about my work and pretend to lead a normal life, when I could have gotten rid of the stone much sooner? I don’t think so. After all, 80 percent to 90 percent of kidney stones pass by themselves. In the end, I judged that avoiding lithotripsy was a huge success.

But I’m not so sure I would realistically recommend to my own patients that they wait it out and continue to work. Pain medications can dull one’s ability to think, and though I never saw patients after taking them, not everyone has a job in which it is possible to take pills, shut the door and even take a quick nap. The pain, along with the medications, can also make it dangerous to drive to and from work.

I would advise my patients with kidney stones to find a good urologist, one who is skilled at lithotripsy and surgery, but not too eager to use them. And I continue to keep myself well hydrated in the hope of avoiding a recurrence. But should another stone develop, I may again end up being another doctor telling his patients to do what he says — but not what he does.

Barron H. Lerner, M.D., a physician and historian at Columbia University Medical Center, is the author, most recently, of “When Illness Goes Public: Celebrity Patients and How We Look at Medicine.”

For more information, see The Times Health Guide: Kidney Stones.

Kidney stones: Common, painful, preventable

Published: January, 2012

Kidney stones have plagued men throughout recorded history; the problem has even been “diagnosed” in Egyptian mummies that date back some 7,000 years. In the modern world, this old problem is more common than ever. In the U.S., the prevalence of kidney stones increased from 3.2% in the mid-’70s to 5.2% in the mid-’90s, and the rates are continuing to rise. At present, kidney stones send almost three million Americans to the doctor each year, including over 500,000 trips to emergency rooms. Between 5% and 10% of all active stone passers may require hospitalization.

It’s a big problem caused by tiny deposits that may be less than a tenth of an inch across. It’s a painful problem that can have serious complications. But it’s a treatable problem and, best of all, a largely preventable one.

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