Kidney Stones Community
411 Members
Avatar universal

3 mm kidney stone won't come out

I am a 70-year-old female in the midst of a kidney stone episode:
10 days ago, sudden onset of an episode of excruciating pain on right side of abdomen, accompanied by nausea and vomiting and bloody urine.  2 days later:  An episode of painless gross hematuria.
CAT Scan reveals 3 mm. distal right ureteral calculus just proximal to the UVJ causing minimal fullness of the right ureter. Ever since:  constant pressure in the lower abdomen (pelvis and groin), and a constant urge to urinate that makes me practically home bound.  On Flomax 0.4 mg. and hydration.   I use a strainer, and thus far – no stone.
1.  Is a 3 mm stone likely to pass on its own, if it has not passed already?
2.  How long can it take for a stone to pass?
3.  Anything I can do to expedite the process?
4.  How much fluids should I consume?
Please, advise...  
28 Responses
4851940 tn?1515698193
Are you under the urologyst?  They should be keeping an eye on you.  
If the stone gets stuck in the ureter it is extremely painful (as you have already experienced) and you may have to have it surgically removed, or have it shattered so it moves out on its own.

Every time you are bleeding and experiencing the nausea and vomitting, the stone will be moving.  Sometimes this causes an infection so you will need to see your doctor to check your urine for infections and be treated with antibiotics.

Unfortunately, there is no time limit for a stone to come out.  They do not hurt and you wouldn't know you had one if they didn't move (or shown on xrays).

You should be drinking plenty of water at least 3 litres per day throught the day.  The norm is 2-3 litres.  But when I had my stone stuck in the ureter my urologyst told me to drink 3 litres.  You are doing the right thing in catching the urine to see if the stone comes out.  Sometimes the stone does not come out as a solid piece, but you may find bits of sediment or grains of sand in the urine.

The pressure in your lower abdomen may be from a bladder infection, so always get your urine checked if it is cloudy, or bloody.

Pains in the lower abdomen like wind pains are called renal colic.

I have heard some people say to drink lemonade to dissolve the stones, but I don't know if this works or not.  Another one is to drink water with lemon juice.  This changes the urine into more alkaline rather than acidic.  I do drink water with lemon juice (but not when I had my stone) so don't really know if it works or not.

Once you have had stones, unfortunately you will be prone to getting them again, so always make sure you stay hydrated.  

I had to have mine surgically removed at the age of 39.  Unfortunately it could not be shattered as it was too solidly suck in the ureter.  But I was very ill intermittently for 5 months.

Wishing you a speedy "birth".
Avatar universal
Thank you so much for your detailed response (I just printed it).  Yes, I did go to see a urologist who told me that the stone is likely to pass on its own, because it is small (3 mm.)  My urine was checked by my internist -- no infection.   I will try to increase fluid consumption (which increase the discomfort + frequent urination and make me practically home bound).  I am supposed to travel for business in 3 weeks and will have to cancel if the stone does not come out, so I feel my life is on hold...   Thanks again for you kindness.
4851940 tn?1515698193
Even if the stone does not come out by then, I would not cancel your trip.

See how you go.  If the stone does not move, it will not give you any problem.  And it can take a very long time to pass through.

If you feel ill a a day or so before (I don't know how much notice you have to give to cancel) you go, then cancel.

I was on pethedine and when I asked my doctor if I could go on holiday at the time, he didn't see why I shouldn't.  Unfortunately we went on a boating holiday and I made a mistake of jumping off the boat that started the stone to move.  I was extremely ill that night and the family were frantic (unbeknown to me) searching for a doctor.  The doctor came in the morning and I was prescribed with an antibiotic that cleared the infection.  Although it got jarred it did not come out, I thought I felt OK, but I was very ill again a few weeks later and had to have it surgically removed.  

So play it by ear so to speak and see how you get on.

I think I had something a few weeks ago because my kidney was in pain and there was a lot of sediment in the urine.  My blood tests have come back normal.  I occasionally get leucocytes and a speck of blood showing of the urine stick.  Tomorrow I am going to have my kidneys scanned.  So I will see what happens.

Have you never had one before?

Take care.
Avatar universal
I had a stone before 10 years ago -- but it passed during the initial attack.  What makes this episode interfere so severely with work and travel is the need for high water consumption and the low abdomen pressure both resulting in a constant urge to urinate...  I am a survivor of multiple medical problems, but this is especially hard because I have no idea how long it would take, I need to keep on drinking (+ take Flomax), and I feel physically uncomfortable all the time.  Thanks again!
4851940 tn?1515698193
In yur posting you say yu are a 70 year old female.  If that is correct, why are you taking Flomax?  This is usually given to men to help them to pass  urine when they have a prostate problem.  

Has the doctor prescribed you with this?

Don't drink more than the 3 litres because it is dangerous to drink too much.  

If you are having the low abdomen pressure, I would suggest you get yur urine checked for Cystitis.

Unfortunately, I had to retire on ill-health grounds at the age of 40, I will be 61 in April.

168348 tn?1379360675
As I understand, Flomax is off-label for use in women to help passage of kidney stones by smoothing the muscles of the ureter, etc.  I know exactly how you feel ... A 3.0mm stone has a high chance to pass on it's own, but the waiting is the hardest part.  You've gotten terrific advice above.

MSK with Stones
Avatar universal
Internist prescribed Flomax to help passage of stone by relaxing the muscles of the ureter -- where stone is supposedly currently stuck.  Checked urine -- no infection or blood traces.  Less abdominal pressure, but still constant urge to urinate -- which is at least partially related to water consumption.  Waiting...  Happy, healthy birthday!
Avatar universal
Yes, you are right about Flomax, and you are right about the difficulty inherent in waiting.  It is not knowing how long, being unable to plan, needing to be hypervigilant in order to "catch" the tiny stone (how would I know that it passed if I can't catch it?  what if it disintegrates and passes as sand?)  This is superimposed on other medical problems...  Thanks for responding.
168348 tn?1379360675
I hear ya .. it's the underlying thoughts we share that are on our minds all the time when a stone decides not to make it's way out into the world. (sigh)
168348 tn?1379360675
PS .. I've been working on a 4.0mm stone since March 2nd .... so far nothing here, either.  
2186782 tn?1390585573
Last may on my 32 birthday I woke up. Like normally do headed straight to the bathroom. To my surprise and fear (no health insurance) there was blood. Being the smart person I am  ;) I told nobody. Hour later my boss comes by to pick me up for work, finds me squirming around on the garage floor trying to adjust my back. So he waited a while until I sarted getting what I thought was something stabbing out my stomach. Luckily our custumer (a doctor with a past of stones himself) call to see if we where coming. Said stay home or wherever you think might be comfortable.  And flush your body with cranberry juice, to promote urination.  And lots of sugar free clear liquid.
  Two weeks past with the occasional pain, accompanied by blood in my urine. Then suddenly after eating lunch on a tile job. The pain ×5 came back. Finnaly finished what I could because the lady I was remodelling for was
2186782 tn?1390585573
Soory I hit done.
The lady I was remodeling for was the sweetest. Avery day she feed us lunch and dinner. Plu showing off the remodeling we did with a big party the next day. Luckily the pain stopped about 4 hours later. Went back and did the finale touchups. Unfortunately that stone didn't come out either. So I was always dropping with shooting pains just below the belly button. After two week more I went to the hospital. The catscan found 2 stones both 2.5mm stuck in the ureter. The first night after taking flowmax I found the now stuck together 5mm square stone. So mine took a month to get out.
  Also the second you feel a stone might be coming  take equal parts real lemon juice and if you have some coconut oil. Works as good as mixing lemon and olive oil. 4 table spoons every 10 minutes until you find little tiny sand particals, if anything at all. For me it take an hour and half from start to finish with some pain in the beginning.  And coconut oil tastes SOOOO much better with lemon then olive oil. Plus it's got more health stuff in it.
Have an Answer?
Top Urology Answerers
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Dr. Jose Gonzalez-Garcia provides insight to the most commonly asked question about the transfer of HIV between partners.
A list of national and international resources and hotlines to help connect you to needed health and medical services.
Here’s how your baby’s growing in your body each week.
These common ADD/ADHD myths could already be hurting your child
This article will tell you more about strength training at home, giving you some options that require little to no equipment.
In You Can Prevent a Stroke, Dr. Joshua Yamamoto and Dr. Kristin Thomas help us understand what we can do to prevent a stroke.