What are Kidney Stone Symptoms in Women?

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  • Written By: Christina Edwards
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 02 September 2019
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Although kidney stones are more common in men, women do suffer from this condition. Kidney stone symptoms in women are usually very similar to, or the same as, kidney stone symptoms in men. Pain, problems urinating, and flu-like symptoms are the most common symptoms. Because they are very similar to the symptoms experienced before a woman's menstrual cycle, these may be ignored at times.

Pain is one of the most common kidney stone symptoms in women. It often starts out as a mild to moderate cramping, usually located in a woman's side or lower back. This area is roughly where the kidney is located.

As the kidney stone moves down the urinary tract, the pain may worsen, becoming sharper and more intense. It will also usually be felt in the lower region of the abdomen, or in the pelvic or groin area. Pain while urinating is another kidney stone symptom in women.

Additionally, other problems with urination are also kidney stone symptoms. Frequently feeling the need to urinate is another common symptom. Women with kidney stones who feel this usually do not actually have to urinate. This sensation occurs when the kidney stone passes into the duct that carries urine outside of the body, known as the ureter. When the stone pushes on the walls of this duct, a person may feel like she needs to urinate.


Unusually colored urine may be another symptom of kidney stones. Jagged edges on the crystallized stone may damage the delicate lining of the ureter. This can cause blood to be mixed with the urine. Pink, brown, or red urine are all possible symptoms. Sometimes, the blood may not be visible to the naked eye, but laboratory tests will confirm its presence.

When the inside of the ureter is damaged, it can lead to an infection, which may be accompanied by certain flu-like symptoms. Fever and chills are common signs of an infection due to a kidney stone, as are nausea and vomiting. If a woman has other kidney stone symptoms and she begins to experience symptoms of an infection, it is often advised that she seeks medical attention as soon as possible.

Kidney stone symptoms in women are sometimes overlooked or disregarded. This is partly because women are less likely to experience a kidney stone, but more because the symptoms of a kidney stone often mimic the signs of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). For example, the pain felt during the early stages of a kidney stone may feel very similar to menstrual cramps. Also, women who see blood on the toilet paper after urinating may dismiss it as spotting or a small amount of menstrual blood.


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Post 4

I disagree that women experience kidney stones less often than men. It runs in my family. We've been labeled by our urologist as stone makers.

My first stone was only 3mm. It was about 10 years ago, I was not even 30 years old. I stayed at work until the pain was unbearable and drove to the clinic. The pain was far more painful than giving birth (three kids without pain meds). They gave me morphine and that did nothing but make me high. The best med is an injection of Toradol. It’s non-narcotic instant relief.

My CT scans show 20-plus stones in each kidney of varying sizes. The largest is 1cm. Stones don't hurt until they decide to

move out of the kidney.

A positive: As the years go by the pain is almost non-existent. My symptoms are bloody urine. For weeks. No pain. I pass about six stones a year, the largest being 8mm and none of them have hurt as much as that first tiny stone. This leads me to believe that 1) some kind of nerve damage has occurred. 2) Or perhaps the lining of the ureters have been thoroughly scraped out which leaves the tube less constricted.

Because of my success rate in passing large stones I am not a candidate for any type of blasting or surgical removal.

Post 3

@SarahGen-- That was not the case with me at all! I had severe pain when I was passing a kidney stone. I've never felt a pain like that before in my life. It was awful!

Also, it's not possible to diagnose kidney stones without medical testing. Of course the location and intensity of the pain is important. But sometimes, pain in one organ can be felt in the neighboring areas, so it can be difficult to pinpoint where the pain is coming from. At one point, I was also having spasms and I could feel pain everywhere -- in my abdomen and my back. So there was no way I could have known what the cause was without going to the hospital.

Post 2

I had kidney stones removed last year. My initial symptoms were actually very mild and I was diagnosed with kidney stones by chance. I just had frequent urination and fatigue. My doctor diagnosed me after an x-ray to determine any abnormalities with my kidneys and bladder. The kidney stone showed up on the x-ray!

Post 1

I went into the ER yesterday due to sharp pains in my back. I've suffered from kidney sand before, so the first thing that came to mind was kidney stones. In the ER, I had a physical examination and they asked me some questions. I was asked about the location of the pain and whether I had pain and burning while urinating. My pain was in my pack and I did not have any problems while urinating. Just to make sure, they asked for a urine sample anyway. Apparently, if there are kidney stones, it shows up in urine. My urine test came back clear and I was told that my pain can't be kidney stone pain.

I was

given a muscle relaxant and a pain relieving injection at the hospital and sent home. I have an appointment tomorrow with a doctor to have my back checked out.

If anyone else has symptoms like mine, it's probably not kidney stones.

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