Bladder Stones


These masses of minerals form in your bladder. That's the organ that holds your urine. Both men and women get bladder stones, but they are more common in men over 50.


What causes them? Well, they develop when you don't empty your bladder all the way when you pee. The leftover urine becomes concentrated. Minerals in the urine form crystals, and these crystals stick together to form a stone. Conditions that keep you from emptying your bladder all the way raise your risk for bladder stones. Things like an enlarged prostate, nerve damage and use of a bladder catheter raise your risk. And, bladder stones may be linked to the levels of fluid, protein or calcium in your diet.


What are the symptoms? Bladder stones can make you need to pee frequently. You can have pain in your lower abdomen, and pain when you pee. You may have trouble getting your urine flow to start, and it may be hard to keep it flowing. Your urine may be dark and cloudy. It may have blood in it. And, you may get urinary tract infections.


Bladder stones are treated by breaking them up so they can be flushed from your bladder. This can be done with a ultrasound, laser light or some other method. If your stones are too big to be broken apart, they can be removed with surgery. Your healthcare provider will create a plan that's right for you.