Which hurts worse-- childbirth/blockage?

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Veteran Member

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   Posted 1/10/2008 8:33 PM (GMT -7)   
I've had a few people tell me that a blockage is more painful than childbirth (nurses, relatives). I only know for sure that one of these people went through both, and she had her obstruction a couple decades after he last child. Just curious if anyone had an opinion.

I am sort of hoping it is true since I've survived multiple blockages and am pregnant for the first time.
Currently in remission!

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 109
   Posted 1/10/2008 9:06 PM (GMT -7)   
I think childbirth hurts far worse - unless you have a good epidural. Of course, a gallbladder attack I had led to unrelenting pain. At least in childbirth you get a small break between contractions.

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   Posted 1/10/2008 9:20 PM (GMT -7)   
Well I've never had a blockage (knocking on wood) but I've given birth naturally with no pain meds and holy crap it HURT, but to be honest, with the pains I've gone through dealing with my perianal crohns skin tags, I'd rather give birth naturally a thousand times then ever go through the perianal crohns skin tag pain I went through (I used to have to fill the tub with water to poop because of the skin tags and I had fissures all over them too), but I have no idea about blockages...I'm sure no pain is fun and everyones pain thresh-hold is different and for different things too.

My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it!  LOL  :)

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   Posted 1/10/2008 9:37 PM (GMT -7)   
Blockage. I had 4 children. I also lived w/severe partial blockage for 2 1/2 years and a complete blockage necessatating a resectin.
Some people are like Slinkies... Not really good for anything, but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs.

Elite Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
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   Posted 1/10/2008 10:23 PM (GMT -7)   
Just a word of warning to everyone: these comparative posts can get acrimonious at times, so please be nice to each other. Remember, everyone's experiences are different...


Co-Moderator Crohn's Forum.

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
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   Posted 1/11/2008 1:19 AM (GMT -7)   

I also have two children born in the natural way and I had a blockage two years ago.  My first daughter was born 12 hours after my water broke, and believe me, it HURT.  Then when my second daughter was born, I asked for an epidural, no way I could tolerate that pain again.  She was born within 55 minutes, with no pain whatsoever!!!  I could have 10 more babies like that!!! 

Now, when I had the blockage, yes the pain was bad, but the worst part for me was vomitting.  If I was to compare both cases based on my experience, child birth hurt much much more!!!



Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
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   Posted 1/11/2008 1:35 AM (GMT -7)   
Ugh. Both sound miserable and excruciating. I'm sorry you have to feel this kind of pain!
Co-moderator - IBS Forum

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 369
   Posted 1/11/2008 6:45 AM (GMT -7)   
Blockage. I was in labor for 50 hours with my first child and, like CrohnieToo I lived with a partial blockage for 2 years before a complete blockage sent me to surgery. When they asked me at the ER, on a scale of 1 - 10, how bad was the pain, I said 10, then changed my mind to a 9 because MAYBE a hot poker held in my eye could hurt a little bit worse. My blockage was the worst pain by far I've ever experienced.

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 165
   Posted 1/11/2008 6:58 AM (GMT -7)   
For me the blockage hurt worse. Although I was flaring something awful with a blockage at the time I was pregnant because I hadn't been diagnosed which may have complicated things. As far as the overall experience of the pain from Crohn's and the pain from labor and delivery..the Crohn's has been far worse for me. I have a very high pain tolerance and had a natural childbirth with the exception of the very end becasue of complications. I am also pregnant (5 weeks) and am anxious to see how this one goes being in remission and having had a resection in July. GOOD LUCK!!
Fibromyalgia DX March 2003
Crohn's DX Jan 2006 (Symptoms since 96-Misdiagnosed as "female" problems-Major flare during pregnancy in 05 which lead to DX)
1st resection July 2007
Currently on Remicade/8 weeks

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
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   Posted 1/11/2008 7:12 AM (GMT -7)   
For me, Blockage wins every time. I had 30 hours of labor and then an emergency C-section with the first, 6 hours of labor before I they could get me into the operating room for the second for the C-section. But even with all the pain meds they can give you in the hospital for a blockage, it still wins. To me the pains are similar. They come in waves and I just have to stop and breathe through it. And at the end of labor, you get to take home a wonderful prize, no such luck with a blockage!

CD 19 years offically, 29 unofficially. 3 resections '93, '95 '97
Symptoms constantly but all tests show only minor ulcerations. Currently having multiple episodes of gastritis with no known cause.

Prednisone, 6MP,Prevacid, B12 shots, Bentyl, Xifaxan.....

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 1/11/2008 8:29 AM (GMT -7)   
Zanne said it pretty well. They both come in waves and both hurt. But I would have to say the blockage because it was a bad burning pain and oh my gosh the nausea and vomiting. I always describe my blockage pain like someone taking a dropper of acid and dropping it right in your middle and it expands. Yuck! Unhappy memory.
Been living with Crohn's Disease for 32 years.  Currently on Asacol, Prilosec 60 mg, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain and Calcium.  Resections in 2002 and 2005.  Recently diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and doing tests to see if I have Inflammatory Arthritis or AS.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 267
   Posted 1/11/2008 8:42 AM (GMT -7)   
Well, having survived 2 natural childbirths and one obstruction which sent me to the hospital...I would have to say that to me the obstruction was worse than the childbirths. Maybe it's because the obstruction was 2 years ago and I haven't given birth since 1990...haha...so the pain of the obstruction is fresher in my memory...haha. The intestinal blockage was the worst pain I have ever felt, I thought I was gonna die, I couldn't stop vomiting, the abdominal cramping was so painful all I could do was lie on the bathroom floor and cry. It was horrible, to say the least. Plus I hadn't been diagnosed with CD yet so I had no idea what was going on, had no idea it could be a blockage.
That's just my opinion.
Good luck with your pregnancy and blessings to you and your family.
Marci, 38 years young, Rockledge, FL
Dx with Crohn's disease March 2006
Currently on bi-weekly Humira, daily 6mg Entocort, daily 2-3x 5mg hydrocodone (for pain), and daily 75mg Effexor,
plus 3x per day heavy iron supplements for anemia,
calcium supplement, daily multi-vitamin,
Lasix as needed for ankle/feet swelling
Self-proclaimed "recluse"  do to CD  ;)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2004
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   Posted 1/11/2008 9:19 AM (GMT -7)   
I remember asking someone to shoot me in the head with a blockage. During childbirth I wanted to shoot my husband! lol Seriously tho, I would have to say the blockage. I too went thru 30 hours of labor and then had a csection. When peeps have asked me to describe a blockage I have always said it was was like natural childbirth x3 with nothing to show for it.
Life isn't like a bowl of cherries, it's more like a jar of Jalapenos... What you do today, might burn your "butt" tomorrrow!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
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   Posted 1/11/2008 2:50 PM (GMT -7)   
For me, the pain of a blockage is much worse. Childbirth -- all three of my experiences -- was like a picnic in the park compared to the dozens of obstructions I have dealt with. I think our perception of pain is tied to our state of mind. I was well prepared for childbirth, I knew why there was discomfort, I knew the work my body had to do in order to accommodate my baby's head and i was prepared to work with the powerful contractions to make it happen. The most empowering experiences of my llfe were the births of my three children.

But the worst pain I've ever experienced was an internal hemorrhage that occurred after a percutaneous drain into an abscess was removed. I experienced the hemorrhage as the worst of pain, in part because it was so unexplainable, I had already endured so much (abscesses, fistual, surgery, septic shock etc) and I was afraid.

Same thing with obstructions. I know what is happening and I also know that the pain represents a danger to me because of the possibility of perforation, gastroparesis or toxic megacolon. Maybe that's why I think that pain is so much worse.

30+ years living with Crohn's.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 739
   Posted 1/11/2008 3:41 PM (GMT -7)   
wow! all these hours of childbirth!! we crohnie women must be super heroes! Have u guys seen that commercial, where the little girl is saying that mom's are super heroes? lol i love it, and u guys are! dont know what id do without my mom! and to be a crohnie or a uc or a cc mom, that makes u guys super super heroes! up up and away!!! lol
25 y/o female- crohns disease since 14
Ileostomy pending-very worried
Tried asacol,pentasa,prednisone,remicade,6mp,azasan, no avail
Seatons placed
Worst year ever!

"For God has not given us the spirit of fear....."
Where does mine come from?!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 1340
   Posted 1/11/2008 5:47 PM (GMT -7)   
THANKS ALL!! You really make me feel better. I'm thinking about natural child birth on the theory that since I've been tough enough to get through the blockages I can do the same for a birth. You are making me think that is right. AND, as many of you mentioned, this pain has a purpose and an excellent reward!
Currently in remission!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2004
Total Posts : 598
   Posted 1/11/2008 6:01 PM (GMT -7)   
I have never had an obstruction but I did have two babies by natural childbirth. I agree that birth, although it was painful, is a natural process (assuming that something isn't going wrong) but an obstruction is not natural at all. One is meant to happen, the other is not meant to happen.
10 years, many tests, 3 gi doctors, Pentasa 1000mg 3x day
diovan, simvastatin and now trying good ol' zoloft

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 244
   Posted 1/11/2008 8:57 PM (GMT -7)   
how about a rupture of the intestine?
"If thou wilt be observant and vigilant, thou wilt see at every moment the response to thy action. Be observant if thou wouldst have a pure heart, for something is born to thee in consequence of every action." -Rumi-
CD for 15 years diagnosed at age 11(i get the crohns cycle)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 1340
   Posted 1/11/2008 9:09 PM (GMT -7)   
Well, a ruptured sounds worse than anything. Isn't that potentially deadly?
Currently in remission!

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 4219
   Posted 1/11/2008 9:10 PM (GMT -7)   
Does natural mean "drug free" or not C-section?
26 Year old married female.  Diagnosed w/ CD 3 years ago, IBS for over 10 years before that, which was probably the CD.  Currently on Pentasa 4 pills/4x day, hysociamine prn, nexium, and ortho evra.  Good times!!!

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Nov 2003
Total Posts : 7122
   Posted 1/11/2008 9:14 PM (GMT -7)   
I thankfully have never had an obstrustion but I did have three kidney stones stuck in my ureters at the same time. I gave birth to 2 kids without any meds. I would rather do that a hundred times over that have a kidney stone stuck in a ureter. I will never forget that pain. It literally threw me to the floor. The pain was so intense I was vomiting. Everytime they tried to move me, I lost conscienciousness.
Moderator Crohn's Disease Forum
CD, Ankylosing Spondylitis, small fiber peripheral neuropathy, avascular necrosis, diffuse connective tissue disease, Sjogren's Syndrome ?

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 1340
   Posted 1/11/2008 9:18 PM (GMT -7)   
Yup, Fitzy. I was hoping to go drug free.
Currently in remission!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 532
   Posted 1/11/2008 9:46 PM (GMT -7)   
LOL, natural used to mean not being "put out" with anesthesia, or getting a spinal. This was in the dark ages pre-epidurals. I had 3 natural childbirths with only a shot of demerol to help me rest better, and many bowel obstsructions. I had more pain with childbirth, and more discomfort with obstructions as far as vomiting and nausea goes. The pain was in waves with both, but if I got a pain/nausea shot with the obstruction, it would go away after I slept!
Diagnosed at age 19 with CD.
3 small bowel resections, 1 for perforation, 2 for strictures 

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 1/11/2008 9:49 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey All.......just returned from vacation so I am feeling good. My vote is for blockage but they both hurt like heck.  Everyone is objective  and each person  has different pain tolerances.  Some have nice easy deliveries and other....like me,  had long hard 12 hours of labor with severe back pain.  That was with each of the 4 children. eyes
Gentle Hugs.
Kitt, Co-Moderator: Anxiety ~ Panic  ~ Crohn's
*~* http://www.healingwell.com/donate *~*
It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.~Mahatma Gandhi~

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 2486
   Posted 1/11/2008 11:36 PM (GMT -7)   
I just re-read my GI's report..."possibility of intermittent partial bowel obstruction." Freakin' hurts. Left epigastric pain upon palpation. Very specific - whenever I visit the doc I am in pain for the rest of the day in my upper-left-quadrant. Small bowel area. Freakin' ow! He wrote, "May be explored by laparoscopy" but I'm not going there yet. I've never had a child, but I'm getting married in June, and my fiance has been there for the "worst" times. He truly has been. What a man - even if he doesn't understand the ins-and-outs as much as I do...he gets pretty freaked out by all of it. So through the GI mystery, the kidney problems, the weight loss, he has been in the dark.

I feel alone sometimes. I'M supposed to be the doctor. I'M supposed to be the one figuring out other people's physiology. I should be able to figure out my own physiology. I guess that's why they put us through 7 years of post-graduate education (at the least) but...this is so hardcore. Thank you, all of those who are responding to this...I appreciate your triumphs and challenges!

Co-moderator - IBS Forum

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