Letting a kidney stone pass

Many kidney stones will pass spontaneously and will not require surgical treatment. Whether a stone can pass successfully primarily depends on the size of the stone. Based on several studies of stone patients, a size criteria of 5mm  or less (about 0.2 inches) is generally felt to predict a reasonable chance (50-70%) for spontaneous passage.

The location of a kidney stone when it is diagnosed also is predictive of likely success at spontaneous passage. Stones that are more distal (closer to the bladder) are more likely to pass than stones that are more proximal (closer to the kidneys).

The decision to allow a stone to pass spontaneously will also take in account the amount of pain you are experiencing, your medical health, the possibility of infection, and other factors. Typically, a period of 4-6 weeks is allowed to give stones a chance to pass.

Medications to help pass kidney stones are now more commonly being given to patients experiencing an active stone episode. These medications can improve the chances of successful passage of a stone, decrease the pain associated with a stone episode, and decrease the time required for passage.

99 Responses to Letting a kidney stone pass

  1. niraj says:

    i pass 10 mm stone.aftter having in right kidney. i take lemin juice two to three times daily and ceystone tablet and also cital syrup twice in daily.after 20 days stone goes in urethral.suddenly my urine pressure is slow and paining.than i having lemon and olive oil mixer 5-6 days and also lemon juice twice in daily. surpsingly my stone pass by urine.good luck

  2. Sarah says:

    Hi everyone, just so interested to read all your comments! I’m being investigated for kidney stones at the moment and it’s freaking me out a little because I’ve never had them before!

    In March I had a laparoscopy and they found that I have Hypervascular ovary/pelvic congestion syndrome. This leaves me in quite a lot of pain on a regular basis. Last year I started getting pains in my lower back, but thought it was to do with my condition. After my op I got a urine infection, closely followed by a more intense pain in my kidney area on the left side. It seems to come in waves and occasionally I can feel stabs in my left abdomen. The doctor took a urine sample which showed that the infection was gone, but it was still showing blood.

    I am pretty convinced I have a stone now, even though I am worrying it could be something else! My doctor seems to think the same as I’ve been referred to a urologist.

    At the moment the pain isn’t what I would call particularly bad, but when it comes on it’s enough to make me have to sit or lie down and I generally feel really tired and weak. I’ve heard it can be extremely excruciating though, so I’m not really looking forward to finding that out for myself!!

    It’s amazing how many people have this. I will try some of the remedies you recommended and see if this makes a difference whilst I wait for my hospital letter.

  3. Val says:

    My daughter is 11 and has a 7mm kidney stone. It causes her pain and to run to the toilet a lot even when she has nothing to wee!!! She has to wait until mid August for her first hospital appointment! She is having several wet bed because of it too! She is really fed-up, and I am too poor kid! We are going abroad soon and I am worried the stone might move while we are there!!

  4. Muhammad Ali says:

    I have stone in my ureter 7mm kindly give me suggestion to pass stone through urine muhammad ali

  5. Katrina says:

    I get kidney stones all the time. For kidney stone pain I drink a shot glass half full of lemon juice and half full of Virgin Olive oil. Repeat 5 to 6 times until the pain is gone. Apple cider vinegar with the mother on the label not the fake one can dissolve smaller ones with 1/2 a teaspoon. Horsetail herb tea or cornsilk tea is also good to help dissolve the smaller stones and as a kidney & bladder tonic. Cranberry juice helps to wash out the smaller particles without infection.

  6. Mahesh says:

    I am also going through this situation. Drinking lot of water Sodas coconut water. Will see doctor tomorrow with CT Scan as ultrasound could not detect it. Will see what do after I meet the doctor. Somebody suggested take Culcury Homeopathy syrip. Will be in touch until I get rid of it

  7. For kidney stones that do not pass on their own, a procedure called lithotripsy is often used. In this procedure, shock waves are used to break up a large stone into smaller pieces that can then pass through the urinary system.

  8. Scott M. says:

    I have been in pain, discomfort, and urinating blood on and off for a month and a half. Early on I had an ultrasound that showed nothing so i was sent home with some antibiotics in case it was a UTI. Then a week or two after that i had a horrible burning sensation in my pelvic area and went to the Dr again. He said he thought it might be a hernia, so we scheduled a CT scan for a few days later. Finally a few days ago i started urinating ALOT of blood and i felt horrible (two days before scheduled CT scan) and went to the ER. They did a CT scan there and finally found that i had 2 kidney stones. One about 5 mm in my right pelvis and one about 8 mm in my left kidney. I have an appointment with the urologist today to see about getting them broken up so i can pass them. I can’t take much more of this as the worst part is i feel like i have to urinate every second. Even when I go i still have the feeling of urgency. Even if there’s no urine in my bladder or not.

    • Rachel says:

      It’s the worst !! I’m dealing with it right now !
      I had the same symptoms as you and went to Emergency and was faster for 3 days before they operate and put a stent in my kidney. They haven’t even touched the stone and said I may have to wait up to two months ! I can’t handle the pain. It’s excruciating and I have barely made it out of bed. I can’t go back to work and I’m literally stuck as to what to do !!

      • Tori says:

        Just to help you all out. Go to Walgreens and get AZO as it numbs the urinary tract and pain wil be gone. I work at a hospital and have 3 stones right now and was told this and it works in 20 min I have no pain. I went from throwing up, sweating to nothing and it’s over the counter. These hospitals want to throw these drugs at you when there is a simple fix. It turns your pee orange but who cares

  9. Lorna Barrett says:

    I have my first stone stuck in the distal left ureter, it’s been there since January 5th. I’m still waiting for treatment, and the hospital sent my urology appointment through for April 26th! I’ve been to the A&E dept twice and in pain most days but nothing is being done. I’m not very optimistic and just wish I could get this over and done with.

  10. Donna Gray says:

    I have a 3 cm stone – do I need to go to the hospital? I was told this morning that is what is causing this horrible pain. So far I was told a urologist was going to see me on an emergent basis, but the doctor said if the pain is really bad to go to the er for treatment. This is my first time. I also have a smaller stone in my left kidney. Please help me with a decision. Thank you.

  11. TERESA BAZYK says:

    I had back pain for months. Did the V A’s “alternative pain management” program for 6 months; meditation, yoga & acupuncture. Pain was getting worse. Went to ER 3 times in JAN, was admitted on 26 JAN with 2cm stone in left kidney, 1.2 cm in right. I had almost no kidney function in right kidney. On 27th went to surgery. Whatever they did worked. Right kidney now functioning. So I wasn’t “abusing the ER” since JUL. Not a “habitual” ER user. Sorry for long post. Just so tired. I have never slept so much in my life. Guess it’ll take time to get healthy again.

  12. Kim B says:

    I was in an extreme amount of pain while my stone was traveling. Not just pain, but an over all feeling of fatigue and weakness. I was hospitalized for three days, and given medication and pain pills. I’ve just passed two stones today, one was a .5 and the other was small and rectangular. I’m just wondering if I’ll feel any better, I’ve still got 4 stones in each of my kidneys. Anyone experience anything similar to my situation? I’m hoping the pain, nausea and overall feeling like crap will subside, at least until it’s time to pass the next one.

  13. Brent says:

    I have a 7mm stone in my kidney and it’s been stuck in same place since Christmas ! Anyway I am having lipotripsy ths Tuesday and I’m hoping and praying it want hurt passing the smaller stones that they bust frm the 7mm ! Has anyone experience ths ?

    • Sherry weaver says:

      I have been in pain since 19 of January, first I was diagnosed with kidney infection. I took antibiotics for 10 days. I did not fill any better so I went back to the doctor on 5 Feb l was told I have a kidney stone and would be referred to a urologist, after three days still did not have an appointment. They on Tuesday morning about two hours after getting off work I went to the bathroom, afterwords I was in extrem pain, so my husband took me to the emergency room. They gave me pain meds took some more X-ray then sent me home with meds and an appointment to see the urologist finally. That’s when I found out that I have 3 three stones two on the right and one on the left. The one causing all the pain is 9.5 mm and the reason the pain got worse is that it move, I was also told I would not pass on its own its to big so now I am schedule for outpatient surgery on Monday. To have a shunt put in and the stone removed, the will use shock wave to brake up the other one in the riight kidney. They can only monitor the one on the left because it’s to small for shock wave treatment. We can pray for each other for speedy recover. I hope it helps a little knowing that some understand what you are going through .

    • Audrey brookes says:

      Dear Brent, Hi!
      I have just undergone surgery for a 10 mm stone which was stuck in my urether. The doctor had earlier inserted a stentin me which caused me no pain in the entire month…but an uncomfortable urine flow ans urinary track infections was the complications to the stubborn stone not getting washed out inspite of my drinking water continously and being on antibiotics…eventually a few days back i had the surgery and it was removed by lipotripsy (lazer) in fragments and I feel a lot better.its the width of the stone and how awkwardly it is lodged that makes it difficult to pass out…I did not delay because I needed to avoid the stress of complications like a stressed kidney or urether or UTI bleeding etc….your doctor will advise you accordingly…but a stent is a wonderful relief…no pain at all! Best of luck and all the best!

    • Kristine callaway says:

      I have a 7 mm now can you tell me it’s the same as yours is it possible to pee it out Iam a 50 year old woman and have had five children dose
      It hurt more
      Then that

  14. tracey says:

    Hi I have been getting stones every 6 months getting blasted pain free for 3 months than all over again I don’t seem to pass them so need blasting but at moment I need to go toilet every 5 min not an infection as its like straight water when I pee there was one in lower pole but I’m thing its trying to pass its 7mm

    • tracey says:

      Also the pressure feels like giving birth or stuck not sure what to do

      • Marion says:

        Hi Tracy,
        I have a 6mm stuck in my lower ureter and I feel that pressure too with pain.i have had this stone stuck there for 6 months and my urologist is still waiting for it to pass….I cannot take much more and so not know what to do…I drink plenty of water and some with freshly squeezed lemon juice that actually stops the pain as I do not like taking painkillers.let me know if you pass yours,it will give me some hope!
        Marion.

        • dave says:

          I have an 8 mm stone and experts told me that it would not pass. I have been drinking chinese radish juice for 5 days and drinking warm water with apple cider vinegar and bicarb with olive oil. Just had another xray today and it is half way down.

          • Buck says:

            I’ve had kidney stones before but this one was different. My back ached some but the discomfort was coming from my ovaries or so I thought. After a visit to my OBGYN and an x-ray, a 7mm + stone was found to be the culprit. The x/Ray wasn’t good enough to get an appointment with a urologist, I had to have a scan for “proof”. This was at the end of September. I have had lithotripsy twice and was told after the second one that it was finally gone. WRONG! It has now moved to my bladder, I don’t have a complete blockage but I can tell that my kidney is not functioning properly. I’ve gained 30lbs since November and feel sluggish and tired. I have surgery scheduled for next week. Praying that this time they get the complete stone and that no damage has been done.

  15. ANIL SWAMI says:

    before 15 days i diagnosed and found 6 x 5 stone in my right ureter. Dr told don’t worry increase fluid and it will pass its own. Still i am waiting, also taking cystone, stonvil , hopefully it will work.

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