Bladder stones are produced when mineral deposits in the bladder and form into small “stones.” Generally distressing older males, bladder stones can be painful, but there are several treatment options available.
Some facts on bladder stones:
- It is common in men over the age of 50.
- For bladder stones, underlying medical situations are often accountable
- Indications of bladder stones include an alteration in urine color and discomfort when urinating
- Bladder stones are rarer in women.
- Bladder stones can be a reason for blood in the urine
Bladder stones may not produce symptoms straight away. But, if the stone irritates the bladder, symptoms can include the following:
- Discomfort or pain in the penis for males
- More regular urination or a stop-start flow
- Starting a stream during urination takes longer
- Pain in the lower stomach area
- Pain and discomfort when urinating
- Blood in the urine
- Cloudy or abnormally dark urine
If the stones are too large to be broken down using cystolitholapaxy, surgery is an alternative treatment option. The surgeon will enter the bladder through a cut in the abdomen and remove the bladder stones. Any surgical procedure comes with some risks, so cystolitholapaxy is always the first choice.
Although some bladder stones do not produce any symptoms, they can still lead to complications if they are not removed. The two main complications are:
- Chronic bladder dysfunction: Frequent urination which is painful and uncomfortable. Sometimes, bladder stones can completely block urine from exiting the body.
- Urinary tract infections: repeated infections.
Because bladder stones are caused by a range of medical illnesses, there are no specific ways to prevent them. However, if individual experiences any odd urinary symptoms – pain, discoloration, blood – getting a medical opinion earlier rather than later is advisable. Drinking plenty of fluids will also help break down any developing stones.
Some people with urinary tract infections feel that there is urine left in the bladder after urinating. In these cases, it is best to try urinating again 10-20 seconds after the first attempt. This is called “double voiding” and can help prevent stones from forming.
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