Urology of Greater Atlanta

What Are The Stages Of Passing A Kidney Stone?

Urology Of Greater Atlanta

So you’ve been told that you have kidney stones. You want to know HOW MUCH MORE PAIN you are going to have and when it’s going to end. 

The following stages will let you know what to expect and how you can minimize the pain.

Stage 1

Stone formation is usually painless. Most people will only know about them when they detach from the inner wall of the kidney. And getting to know it you will! 

Symptoms of kidney stones include severe pain and possibly fever and chills. You might also see blood in your urine. The pain comes and goes as the kidney spasms, trying to get rid of the stone from inside your kidney. It may feel like you have pulled a muscle in your back. 

If you are at this stage then expect the spasms between 1 to 4 TIMES AN HOUR. They will keep coming until the stone has passed into the ureter. Many women who have given birth naturally (without painkillers) have said that this is worse. 

However, be assured that once the kidney stones have moved on, you have passed the worst part.

Stage 2

Now the stone has entered the ureter, the tube that connects your kidneys to the bladder. Although the worst part has passed, this stage can still be INCREDIBLY painful. 

The inside diameter of the ureter can be between 2-3mm wide. Any kidney stones bigger than this YOU WILL FEEL. The pain is different from before though. Before the pain was INTENSE, now, in stage 2, the pain is throbbing as the kidney stones scrape their way through the urinary system.

You will also feel a build-up of pressure if the kidney stones stop anywhere along your urinary tract. This in itself is not painful but you will know if it happens.

Stage 3

FINALLY, when the kidney stones enter the bladder the pain will be pretty much gone. What you’ll feel though is EXTREME PRESSURE! Your body will want to expel the stone and you will feel like you need to pass urine every 5 minutes

It may not be as straightforward though. Kidney stones may get stuck at the entrance of your urethra, stopping the flow of urine. You’ll then have to wait 5-10 minutes for the stone to return to the bladder before trying again.

Stage 4

This last stage is going to require a little effort from you. You may not feel like doing it but it’s necessary to get the kidney stone out.

When the kidney stone gets as far as the opening of your urethra, you have to PUSH HARD. Keep pushing until the stone shoots out into the bowl of your toilet.

You have now successfully completed the 4 stages!

Preventing Kidney Stones

Wouldn’t it be better not to have to pass through those stages again?

Identifying what causes kidney stones will help you to prevent them. Kidney stones form when your urine contains more crystal-forming substances than the fluid in your urine can dilute. 

At the same time, your urine may lack substances that prevent crystals from sticking together, creating an ideal environment in the kidneys for stones to form.

There are 4 types of kidney stones. Calcium stones (made from either calcium phosphate and calcium oxalate), uric acid stones, struvite stones, and cystine stones.

Certain foods are responsible for each type of stone formation. You’ll need to identify the type of stone in order to make dietary changes. You should also drink PLENTY of water. This will increase urine flow and reduce the chance of stones forming.

It’s also been found that kidney stones are more common in people who have a family history of these. Medical conditions may also be a contributing factor. 

You can’t do much about these factors except be extra careful to prevent the stones from forming.

If you need advice, diagnostic testing, or treatment then don’t hesitate to speak to the team of board-certified urologists at Urology of Greater Atlanta. 

For example, they may prescribe a ureteroscopy which is an effective way to remove or break up kidney stones or recommend other procedures.

Make an appointment today by phone or online for expert urological care for kidney stones. They have extensive experience in diagnosing and treating kidney stones. Their offices are found throughout Greater Atlanta, including Stockbridge, GA.

Medically reviewed by

Stockbridge, Country Club Drive

290 Country Club Drive Suite 100, Stockbridge, GA 30281

Blue Ridge, Blue Ridge Drive

4799 Blue Ridge Drive Suite 107, Blue Ridge, GA 30513

Sandy Springs

1100 Lake Hearn Drive NE STE 320
Atlanta, GA 30342

Griffin, West College Street

230 West College Street Bldg. C, Griffin, GA 30224

Spivey Station

7823 Spivey Station Blvd Suite 210, Jonesboro, GA 30236

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