Filter Glossary

Bladder stones

  • Overview


    Bladder stones are solid formations of minerals that can develop in your bladder. They arise when the minerals in concentrated urine solidify and create stones, which can occur when you struggle to empty your bladder.

    While small bladder stones may pass without medical intervention, larger ones may require medication or surgery. If left untreated, bladder stones can result in infections and other complications.

  • Symptoms


    Bladder stones can exist without causing problems, even if they are significant. However, symptoms may appear if the rock begins to irritate the bladder wall or obstruct the normal flow of urine. These symptoms can include:
    Lower abdominal discomfort or pain.
    Pain during urination.
    Frequent urination.
    Difficulty urinating or interrupted urine flow.
    Blood in the urine.
    Urine that appears cloudy or unusually dark in colour.

    It is essential to be aware of these symptoms and seek medical attention, as bladder stones can lead to more severe complications if left untreated.

  • When to see a doctor

  • Causes


    Bladder stones are formed when the bladder fails to empty correctly, leading to urine concentration. This concentrated urine can crystallise and form stones. Infections and underlying conditions that affect the bladder’s ability to store, hold or eliminate urine can also cause bladder stone formation. Additionally, foreign materials present in the bladder can also contribute to the formation of bladder stones.

    The most common conditions that cause bladder stones include:
    Prostate gland enlargement. An enlarged prostate in men, also known as BPH, can cause bladder stones, hindering urine flow and emptying of the bladder.
    Damaged nerves. Neurogenic bladder occurs when nerves that control bladder muscles are impaired due to injury or illness.

    Other possible causes of bladder stones include:
    Inflammation. Bladder stones may result from bladder inflammation caused by urinary tract infections or radiation therapy to the pelvis.
    Medical devices. Bladder catheters and foreign objects can cause bladder stones by allowing mineral crystals to form on their surfaces.
    Kidney stones. Kidney stones and bladder stones develop differently. Small kidney stones can turn into bladder stones if not expelled.

  • Risk factors


    It is more common for men, particularly those over 50, to develop bladder stones.

    Factors that increase the likelihood of developing bladder stones are:

    Obstructions: Any condition obstructing urine flow from the bladder to the urethra can cause bladder stones. The most frequent cause of this is an enlarged prostate, though other reasons exist.
    Nerve damage: Bladder function is controlled by nerves that can be damaged in several ways, including stroke, spinal cord injuries, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, herniated disks, and other conditions.

    It is possible to experience both nerve damage and a condition that leads to bladder outlet obstruction. When these two issues co-occur, the risk of developing stones is further heightened.

  • Prevention


    Taking certain precautions is essential to decrease the likelihood of developing bladder stones. Although bladder stones are usually caused by an underlying condition that’s difficult to prevent, there are some measures you can take. If you experience any unusual urinary symptoms, it’s crucial to inform your doctor. Early diagnosis and treatment of an enlarged prostate or another urologic condition may help lower your risk of developing bladder stones. Additionally, it’s recommended to drink plenty of fluids, particularly water. This is because fluids can help dilute the concentration of minerals in your bladder. However, the appropriate amount of liquid you should drink depends on several factors, such as your age, size, health, and activity level. It’s best to consult your doctor to determine what fluid is appropriate for you.

  • *Please note that the information provided in the article is for reference purposes only. It is essential to consult a doctor before applying any of the suggestions mentioned.

Content Details

Medical info from Mayo Clinic, for reference only. Visit Hoan My for better advice.

Last updated on: 07/08/2023