Bladder Stones Bladder Stones

Bladder Stones

Do you experience painful urination, lower abdominal pain and see blood in your urine?

Visit Steinberg Urology for a consultation with our urologists to address your concerns, perform diagnosis and provide you on advice as to what treatments are likely to fit your individual circumstances.

Bladder Stones

Bladder stones develop when the minerals in concentrated urine crystallize and form stones. This often happens when you have trouble completely emptying your bladder. Bladder stones may be related to stones that have formed in other parts of the urinary tract, such as the kidneys.

Both men and women can develop bladder stones. Children can get stones, but this is rare in developed countries. The risk is higher for people who are paralyzed, who have had bladder augmentation, or who have bladder outlet obstruction.

Small bladder stones may pass without treatment, but sometimes bladder stones need medications or surgery. Left untreated, bladder stones may lead to infections and other complications.

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Sometimes bladder stones — even large ones — cause no problems. But if a stone irritates the bladder wall or blocks the flow of urine, signs and symptoms may include:

  • Lower abdominal pain
  • Pain during urination
  • Constant need to urinate, especially at night
  • Difficulty urinating or interrupted urine flow
  • Blood in the urine
  • Cloudy or abnormally dark-colored urine
  • Pain in or near the penis
  • Frequent infections in the urinary tract


Bladder stones can develop when your bladder doesn’t empty completely. This causes urine to become concentrated urine, and then it may crystallize and form stones.

Some infections can lead to bladder stones, and sometimes an underlying condition that affects the bladder’s ability to hold, store or eliminate urine can result in bladder stone formation. Any foreign materials present in the bladder tend to cause bladder stones.

The most common conditions that cause bladder stones include:

Prostate gland enlargement.

An enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH) can cause bladder stones in men. An enlarged prostate can obstruct the flow of urine, preventing the bladder from emptying completely.

Damaged nerves.

Normally, nerves carry messages from your brain to your bladder muscles, directing your bladder muscles to tighten or release. If these nerves are damaged — from a stroke, spinal cord injury or other health problem — your bladder may not empty completely. This is known as neurogenic bladder.


Bladder inflammation, sometimes caused by urinary tract infections or radiation therapy to the pelvis, can lead to bladder stones.

Medical devices.

Bladder catheters — slender tubes inserted through the urethra to help urine drain from your bladder — may cause bladder stones. So can objects that accidentally migrate to your bladder, such as a contraceptive device or urinary stent. Mineral crystals, which later become stones, tend to form on the surfaces of these devices.

Kidney stones.

Stones that form in your kidneys are not the same as bladder stones. They develop in different ways. But small kidney stones may travel down the ureters into your bladder and, if not expelled, can grow into bladder stones.


Men, especially those over 50, are more likely to have bladder stones.

Conditions that can raise the risk of bladder stones include:

  • An obstruction. Any condition that blocks the flow of urine from your bladder to the urethra — the tube that carries urine out of your body — can lead to bladder stone formation. There are a number of causes, but the most common is an enlarged prostate.
  • Nerve damage. Stroke, spinal cord injuries, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, a herniated disk and a number of other problems can damage nerves that control bladder function.

It’s possible to have nerve damage and a condition that causes bladder outlet obstruction. Having these together further increases the risk of stones.


Your doctor will likely feel your lower abdomen to see if your bladder is enlarged (distended) or may perform a rectal exam to determine whether your prostate is enlarged. You’ll also discuss any urinary signs or symptoms that you’re having.

A sample of your urine may be collected and examined for microscopic amounts of blood, bacteria and crystallized minerals. A urine test also looks for a urinary tract infection, which can cause or be the result of bladder stones.

The doctor will also use cystoscopy to look in the bladder with a small scope.




Bladder Ultrasound


Lab Test



This technique uses an instrument called a cystoscope to go into the bladder from the urethra. Ultrasound, laser, or an instrument crushes the stones and flushes them out of the bladder.


Occasionally, bladder stones are large or too hard to break up. In these cases, your doctor will surgically remove the stones from your bladder.

The images and/or videos are not presented as a guarantee of result. The results may vary. Patients gave their consent for the publication of images and/or videos.


At Steinberg Urology we pride ourselves on our compassionate care we offer to those facing challenges that affect their quality of life. Our urologists have years of experience and a commitment to excellence.

If you need to discuss this sensitive medical concern, schedule a consultation at our clinic in a safe confidential environment. Let us help you achieve optimal health and wellness in a professional setting.


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