Kidney Stones and Pregnancy: Diagnosing and treatment of kidney stones during pregnancy

“Although a kidney stone is not a risk to the fetus directly, it can pose problems for the mother.”

Kidney Stones and Pregnancy

Diagnosing and treatment of kidney stones during pregnancy

Women’s bout with kidney stones while pregnant is not uncommon. Although pregnant women are no more likely to develop kidney stones than non-pregnant women, they are more likely to suffer with them while pregnant. The stones have likely been in the body before pregnancy but were dormant. They are diagnosed more often in pregnant women because they cause discomforts and concerns non-pregnant women might otherwise ignore.

Although a kidney stone is not a risk to the fetus directly, it can pose problems for the mother. It is important for doctors to diagnose where in the urinary tract the stones are. If the stones are in the kidney, they usually pose no problem, but as they move into the urinary tract, they can begin to cause complications.

Kidney Stone in Trimester

If you are not suffering with any kidney stones problem it dose not mean it can’t happen to you during your pregnancy, The access intake of calcium and proteins can cause Kidney Stones in any stage of your pregnancy trimester and every trimester will have different treatment according to your pregnancy conditions. Therefore, Doctors keep monitoring your urine tests on various trimester stages.

Kidney Stone Diagnosis and Concerns During Pregnancy:

There are three main reasons why a woman should know she has a kidney stone and why it should be treated:

1) Pain

2) The chance of a premature birth

3) The risk of kidney infection.

The kidney infection is the most serious of these issues. If the kidney is not draining due to the stone, it can cause an infection, including a change of blood pressure that can be a risk for the fetus because the body begins to care for the mother first. Having a kidney infection during pregnancy also can lead the fetus to be born prematurely. So it is especially important for a pregnant woman to be treated for the kidney stones whenever possible.

Kidney Stone Treatment During Pregnancy

However, a pregnant woman must be treated differently than non-pregnant women. In an ordinary case of kidney stones, doctors would use a treatment called lithotripsy, which is a non-surgical treatment that sends extracorporeal shock waves into the body. But this procedure is not possible for pregnant women for two reasons. First, doctors would prefer to avoid using anaesthesia for a pregnant woman whenever possible, and second, doctors are unsure what effect the shock waves have on a fetus.

Instead, pregnant women are usually given a urethral stent to aid in passing the kidney stone. Stent is a tube link inserted to connect bladder and kidney, this stent allows the urine to get past the stone. but these stents collects lots of calcium, therefore, these needed to be change by every six to eight weeks. If the pregnant woman is near the end of her trimester, a stent is probably the best way to go because it will not likely need to be replaced.

Another option is to use a nephroscopic tube, which is inserted into the back through a small incision. Attached to the tube is a small, external bag for drainage. It can be awkward to maneuver with the bag on the back, but it is also less invasive, especially if the kidney stones must be monitored for a long period of time or in the 3rd trimester of pregnancy.

However, between 60 to 80 percent of pregnant women will pass the kidney stones on their own. If it doesn’t happen during the pregnancy, she can pursue a surgical procedure after the baby is born.

Kidney Stone Prevention During Pregnancy

Preventing kidney stones is a topic of ongoing research. What doctors do know is too much calcium does not cause kidney stones, so women should not deprive themselves of the calcium needed for pregnancy. Drinking plenty of water keeps the system well flushed and may help prevent the formation of stones.

Staying healthy is always important, and is especially so for pregnant women. Doctors would prefer not to treat women for kidney stones during pregnancy if at all possible. If a woman has a history of kidney stones, she should have X-rays done before she begins trying to get pregnant, and if stones are found, she and her doctor should discuss removing them before she becomes pregnant. Any woman who is concerned she could be at risk for kidney stones (for instance, someone who is susceptible to bladder infections) should talk to her doctor about being checked for stones before conceiving.

Last Updated: Research & Editorial Staff, 25th Jan 2017 

1 Comment

  1. I had sotne back in my teenage, I have got treated it but as you know it has tendency to come back. But since age of 17 it never occered as I take care of myself and don’t eat rich protein and all. But now I am married from last 3 years my age is 28, I am not able to conceive is this could be a problem ???

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