Bladder Stones – Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, And Treatment
What are bladder stones?
Bladder stones are mineral deposits that form in the urinary bladder. Bladder stones are less common than kidney stones. Almost all bladder stones occur in men.
What causes bladder stones?
Bladder stones form when minerals in the concentrated urine develop into crystals. These stones are also caused by foreign objects in the bladder. Often, bladder stones are caused by one of the following urinary system problems:
- Blockage at the base of the bladder
- Enlarged prostate (BPH)
- Neurogenic bladder
- Bladder diverticulum
- Incomplete emptying of bladder
- Urinary tract infection (UTI)
What are the symptoms of bladder stones?
Symptoms of bladder stone occur when the stone irritates the lining of the bladder. Symptoms may also occur when the stone blocks the flow of urine from the bladder.
The following are the common symptoms of bladder stones:
- Blood in the urine
- Difficulty urinating
- Dark-colored urine
- Urinary frequency
- Difficulty urinating except in certain positions
- Interruption of the urine stream
- Abdominal pain and pressure
- Pain and discomfort in the penis
- Signs of UTI (like fever, pain with urination)
How are bladder stones diagnosed?
The doctor will perform a physical exam and review the symptoms. The doctor will also perform a rectal exam and look for enlarged prostate or other problems.
If the doctor suspects a bladder stone, he/she may order the following tests to confirm the diagnosis:
- X-ray of the bladder or pelvis
- Urine culture (clean catch)
How are bladder stones treated?
Small bladder stones may pass out on their own without any treatment. Drinking 8 glasses of water or more per day will increase urination and help small stones pass out.
If bladder stones do not go away on their own, your doctor will remove them using a cystoscope.
Sometimes, surgery is needed to remove the stones.
Medications are rarely used to dissolve the stones.
Doctors usually treat conditions that caused bladder stones. Bladder stones are commonly seen with BPH or blockage at the base of the bladder. Doctors use surgery to remove the inside part of the prostate or to repair the bladder.
This feature is for informational purposes only and is not intended to substitute the expert guidance of a doctor. We advise seeing a doctor if you have any health concerns.