- What are kidney stones?
- Symptoms of kidney stones
- Can kidney stones irritate the prostate?
- Can a kidney stone get stuck in the prostate?
- Do kidney stones pass through the prostate?
- What are the differences between kidney stones and prostate stones?
- Is there a link between an enlarged prostate and kidney stones?
- Can kidney stones cause urinary retention?
- Can ejaculating help pass a kidney stone?
- Can kidney stones block sperm?
- How are kidney stones treated?
Roughly 11% of men and 6% of American women have kidney stones at least once in their lifetime.
This makes it one of the most prevalent ailments on the globe.
Men are more prone to this health issue, particularly if it runs in the family.
Prostate complications are also common in aging men and a typical cause of lower urinary tract symptoms.
In fact, the prevalence of BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia) is as high as 50-60% for men in their 60s. But, the rates skyrocket to a staggering 80-90% for those older than 70.
Given the sheer impact of both conditions, many people wonder whether kidney stones can irritate the prostate.
Here, you can take a closer look at how kidney stones affect the prostate and other organs. We then discuss whether or not they can cause additional complications.
What are kidney stones?
Kidney stones are mineral deposits that form in the chambers of the kidney through which the urine flows, including the pelvis. These are hard objects made from chemicals in the urine. The urine has a ton of waste dissolved in it.
When there is an extreme amount of waste in the urine, yet little liquid, these hard objects begin to form. In many cases, the body can eliminate such chemicals with enough fluid. But, when that doesn’t happen, treatment may be necessary.
The body can develop four distinct types of kidney stones. These are cystine, calcium oxalate, struvite, and uric acid. Kidney stones contain organic and crystalline components. They develop when the urine is supersaturated with a certain mineral. Calcium oxalate is the primary constituent of most kidney stones.
Diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and metabolic syndromes are typical risk factors for kidney stone formation. Doctors can spot symptomatic or “silent” kidney stones during a typical health exam. The doctor can do an X-ray, which can pinpoint the problem.
Symptoms of kidney stones
When limited to the kidney, patients with kidney stones don’t experience any symptoms. When these stones can’t leave the system naturally, they could result in a back-up of urine in the bladder, urethra, ureter, and kidney. This is the reason for the pain.
The typical symptoms linked with this condition include:
- Acute pain that radiates to the groin
- Severe, sharp, or dull pain under the ribs, in the back and side
- Fluctuating pain (or pain that comes in waves)
- Burning or painful sensations when trying to urinate
Other signs could include:
- Vomiting and nausea
- Chills and fever if the stone is infected
- Unpleasantly smelling or cloudy urine
- Consistent need to urinate but having trouble emptying the bladder
- Brown, red or pink urine
Can kidney stones irritate the prostate?
If these pebble-like objects have blocked the normal urine flow, then the bladder can retain excess urine. The excess urine creates pressure on the prostate, which can hinder normal prostate function. So, yes, kidney stones can irritate the prostate.
Then, can an enlarged prostate cause kidney stones? What you may not be familiar with is that anything that obstructs urine flow can cause acute kidney failure. Blood clots or kidney stones in the urinary tract can be a major contributor. Including an enlarged prostate (BPH) or prostate cancer.
The enlargement obstructs urine flow, making it difficult for the bladder to empty completely. However, these stones can’t cause prostatitis. Prostatitis happens as a result of inflammation of the prostate. When the prostate gets inflamed, men have trouble urinating.
What tends to trigger chronic prostatitis are pelvic floor spasms, stress, and autoimmune ailments. Whereas bladder infections, urinary retention, prostate stones (prostate calculi), and UTI (urinary tract infections) can cause bacterial prostatitis. Kidney stones are not linked with triggering prostatitis.
Tip: When dealing with kidney stones, focus on consuming quality food. Limit the intake of packaged meats, canned food, and condiments. As too much sodium increases, the calcium is lost in the urine. This can be a problem for your kidneys.
Can a kidney stone get stuck in the prostate?
Can a kidney stone get stuck in the urethra or prostate? No, it can’t. After the stone has formed, it could either remain in the kidney or travel to the urinary tract.
Once it travels to the urinary tract, it could reach the urethra, bladder, and ureters. If these hard objects are large enough, they can get lodged in the urinary tract.
The prostate can be found just under the bladder and in front of the rectum. It surrounds the urethra (the tube in charge of emptying the urine from the bladder). Due to its close proximity to the urethra, it’s normal for the descended kidney stone to start affecting the prostate as well.
Do kidney stones pass through the prostate?
Stones cause trouble when they block or obstruct the ureter. Based on the degree of obstruction, the pain will vary. If the pebble-like object is sitting in the ureter but doesn’t cause blockage, there could be little to no pain.
But, if they were to turn even a bit, then there is a chance of full or partial blockage. Kidney stones typically get stuck in the last segment of the ureter. This part runs through the bladder wall. In cases such as these, the stone can trigger urinary symptoms.
These include urinary urgency, frequency, and postvoid fullness. If these objects travel to the lower section of the ureter, then they could also trigger pain that’s affecting the tip of the penis or the testicles.
What are the differences between kidney stones and prostate stones?
Kidney stones are pebble-like and solid stones that can emerge in the kidneys. These objects are known to affect the human body when the system is incapable of filtering the extra waste and water. Both women and men can develop kidney stones.
This condition could cause severe aches in the lower back, side, or abdomen. Patients can also experience a burning sensation when they urinate. The symptoms of kidney stones are associated with their location, whether they are in the urinary bladder, ureter, or kidney.
Prostate stones are stones the size of a poppy seed. These objects affect the prostate gland, and only men can develop them.
In many cases, the ailment causes aches in the lower back, perineum, or penis. But, the ailment might not cause any signs or issues.
If a prostate stone were to be infected, patients could develop a UTI or prostatitis. But, most prostate stones are harmless, and doctors discover them by chance. Particularly during an ultrasound scan. Many men can develop a prostate stone.
Prostate stone symptoms occur in individuals over the age of 50. Treatment for a prostatic stone may not be necessary. The body tends to flush them out on its own.
A doctor can suggest a targeted treatment approach to alleviate the symptoms in case of prostate and kidney problems, pains, and discomfort due to passing prostate stones.
Prostate stones treatment can involve antibiotic use, transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP), or deposit removal using an endoscope (fine surgical instrument). A doctor can suggest the best treatment procedure.
Is there a link between an enlarged prostate and kidney stones?
An enlarged prostate and kidney stones can have a serious impact on the body. Men with a long-standing history of an enlarged prostate can develop kidney damage, urinary stones, and UTIs.
Urinary retention, for example, adds pressure to the bladder that can directly damage the kidneys. This pressure could also let infection reach the kidneys.
What kidney stones and enlarged prostate have in common are the symptoms. For instance, when the kidney stone moves, it can cause dribbling urine. Dribbling or slowness of the urinary stream is also present in BPH patients.
The hard masses can make it difficult to urinate, especially if they cause pain. Other kidney stone symptoms that are quite like that of an enlarged prostate include frequent urination, an urgency to urinate, and “funny” smelling urine.
The urine can also take a different color. But, if the kidney stones are affecting the gastrointestinal tract, then patients can experience vomiting, nausea, and general stomach discomfort.
If you notice any of these symptoms, contact a doctor as soon as possible. Even if small kidney stones may not need treatment, it’s best to get checked.
Kidney stones that fail to leave the body can cause a range of health issues. This is especially true if you avoid treatment for a very long time.
These objects can cause infections, amplified risk of kidney disease, urine build-up (which puts a lot of pressure on the kidneys), and narrowing or hindering of the ureters.
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Can kidney stones cause urinary retention?
Urinary retention could be the result of two factors – non-obstruction or obstruction. Kidney stones and bladder stones are an obstruction, meaning they can impede the urinary tract.
A swollen prostate can also trigger urinary retention. It’s important to recognize the causes of an enlarged prostate, kidney stones, and prostate tissue problems to get the necessary treatment.
Can ejaculating help pass a kidney stone?
Can a kidney stone come out in sperm? Limited evidence on how masturbation affects your kidneys suggests that masturbation could dispel some of these stones.
Kidney stone ejaculation may seem like a viable approach when removing 5-to-10-millimeter stones. When mixed with conventional medical therapy, ejaculation helped kidney stone patients achieve some relief. However, more research is necessary to confirm this claim.
Can kidney stones block sperm?
If this object gets lodged into the urethra, just under the ejaculatory duct, it can make ejaculation painful and uncomfortable. Depending on the size of the stone, the semen may have trouble pushing through.
How are kidney stones treated?
The treatment procedures vary based on the stone type and cause. Most of the time, doctors advise you to keep your fluid intake to about 1.8 to 3.6 liters (2 to 3 quarts) a day.
Other patients may receive Flomax for kidney stones. This alpha-blocker can shorten expulsion time, decrease hospitalizations, and clear stones bigger than 5 mm. An outpatient procedure, like ureteroscopy, may also be suggested. A device known as a ureteroscope can be used to address the ailment.
Kidney stones are notorious for being painful. But, they are also a highly prevalent ailment affecting a major portion of the population.
If these objects are tiny enough to leave the system on their own, then you may not require targeted treatment. However, if they are too big, then they can get lodged in the urinary tract. If these stones start hindering the normal flow of urine, then they can affect the prostate.
The ailment is forcing the bladder to retain excess urine. And this causes significant pressure on the prostate.
To avoid these kinds of complications, it’s best to talk to a specialist. A urologist or nephrologist can help keep the problems in the urinary tract at bay.
If the small kidney stones don’t cause any particular problems, then your family doctor can help. But, make sure you don’t ignore the stones if they do emerge.