Kidney stones in pregnancy: Causes, symptoms and management | Health - Hindustan Times

Kidney stones in pregnancy: Causes, symptoms and management

ByZarafshan Shiraz, New Delhi
May 20, 2023 05:14 PM IST

Experiencing unbearable abdominal pain during pregnancy? It can be kidney stones. Here are its causes, symptoms and management

There is an association between kidney stones and pregnancy - yes, you have heard us here and symptomatic kidney stones are a common occurrence during pregnancy that will need timely intervention. Are you experiencing unbearable abdominal pain during pregnancy? Then, it can be attributed to kidney stones.

Kidney stones in pregnancy: Causes, symptoms and management (Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels)
Kidney stones in pregnancy: Causes, symptoms and management (Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels)

Symptomatic stones, majority of times, can be seen during the second or third trimester. In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Vikas Bhise, Consultant Urologist, Andrologist and Transplant Surgeon at Medicover Hospitals in Navi Mumbai, shared, “Symptoms of kidney stones are upper abdomen or back pain that may spread to the groin or lower abdomen. The pain is severe enough to need some or other form of painkillers. 1 in 300 to 1 in 1200 pregnant women have symptomatic kidney stones.”

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Highlighting the physiological changes that take place in the woman's body, Dr Vikas Bhise explained, “The bladder is squeezed by the size of the growing fetus when one is pregnant. Hence, pregnant women will notice symptoms such as frequent urination. Physiological hypercalciuria and hyperuricosuria increased blood flow to the kidney leading to increased excretion of stone forming waste products. Though said the overall risk in pregnant women is similar for stone formation compared with normal. The treatment protocols are different in pregnancy when we compare with non pregnant women.”


Dr Vikas Bhise revealed, “The symptoms of it are nausea and vomiting, fever with chills, colicky pain in the abdomen, urinary urgency, and frequency. Blood in the urine is also a symptom which is alarming. Renal colic is the most common non-obstetric emergency during pregnancy.”


The health expert asserted, “Consulting the urologist is the first thing should be done along with the treating gynaecologist. As an urologist I would recommend avoiding taking any over the counter medications for pain as it will not only harm the baby it might damage the kidneys as well. If someone already has a kidney stone diagnosed prior to pregnancy it is always advisable to get it operated prior to pregnancy if advised based on the stone size. It mainly depends on which trimester patient is having symptoms and how severe the symptoms are. Usually first trimester conservative management is followed but only to be decided by a urologist. Based on symptoms and stone size patients might be advised for surgical intervention explaining all the risk of the procedure.”

Suggesting to stay active and exercise daily, Dr Vikas Bhise concluded, “Consulting the urologist without any delay in case there is constant abdominal pain. It is very important to hydrate according to body weight. Remember over hydration is also damaging so balance is very important. Doing urinalysis and timely consultation with urologist and gynecologist can avoid the complications of kidney stone disease.”

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