How Long Does It Take to Pass Kidney Stones: a Guide

How long does it take to pass a kidney stone? When given enough time, most kidney stones will travel from the ureter to the bladder and then leave the body.

Most kidney stones will move through the urinary canal within 48 hours if you drink enough fluids. However, the size and placement of the stone in the urinary tract affect how long it takes to pass.

For instance, smaller stones and those found in the lower urinary system, nearer the bladder than the kidneys, are more likely to pass on their own and move through the body more quickly. Larger kidney stones have a lower chance of passing on their own and usually move more slowly.

Urea and extra minerals need to be removed from the blood by the kidneys. The body normally eliminates these substances through urine.

However, in some instances, significant concentrations of these minerals can build up in the kidneys and form crystal-like stones.

One kidney or both might develop kidney stones. From this point, they might enter the ureter, the tube that joins the kidney with the bladder. Small kidney stones frequently pass through the body unnoticed and may not even produce symptoms. Larger stones may become stuck in the ureter and cause discomfort.

They could result in consequences like infection and kidney damage if they aren’t removed.

How Long Does It Take to Pass A Kidney Stone?

How long does it take to pass a kidney stone? The American Urological Association states that it typically takes eight days for kidney stones smaller than 2 mm, 12-13 days for stones between 2-4 mm, and 22 days on average for stones between 4 and 6 millimeters to pass through the ureters. But often, kidney stones will dissolve on their own in 40 days.

However, if medical expulsive therapy (MET) is used and the patient is in good health, a kidney stone (2 mm to 6 mm) will pass in a matter of days or weeks.

Antispasmodic medications can be utilized to hasten the stone-passing procedure. The medications soothe the ureters and shorten the time to pass a stone by 5-7 days. A urologist may give a kidney stone up to six weeks to pass naturally.

Still, earlier intervention may be required if the stone is causing excruciating pain, stomach discomfort, or urine issues.

Factors Affecting How Long Does It Take to Pass A Kidney Stone

How long does it take to pass a kidney stone? The following factors affect the time and ability of kidney stones to pass out of the body:

  • Size of the stone
  • Size of the person
  • Pregnancy in women
  • Prostate enlargement in men
  • Location of the stone
  • Prior kidney stones

For example, a kidney stone that is 4 mm in size has an 80% chance of passing, whereas a stone that is 5 mm in size only has a 20% chance. Larger than 9mm–10mm kidney stones are difficult to pass by themselves and need to be treated right once to prevent problems.

A urologist may suggest certain drugs to quicken kidney stone passage. The drugs include calcium channel blockers like nifedipine and alpha blockers like tamsulosin (Flomax) (Procardia, Nifediac, Adalat, or Afeditab).

How Long Does It Take to Pass A Kidney Stone After They Form?

Kidney stones can exist for years while you are unaware of them. You won’t feel anything as long as these stones are in your kidney where they are. When a kidney stone passes through your kidney, it usually causes pain.

A stone can occasionally form faster in just a few months. Your risk factors should be discussed with your doctor. To determine how quickly stones form in your body, they could do a 24-hour urine test.

Dealing with Symptoms of A Kidney Stone

How long does it take to pass a kidney stone after the symptoms start to show? A kidney stone usually takes 1-4 weeks to pass once you start feeling pain.

Treatment is typically focused on alleviating the symptoms because, given enough time, most of the time, kidney stones pass through the urinary tract and leave the body. Increased fluid intake and painkillers like Ibuprofen are typically recommended when the stones are passed at home.

Stronger treatments like Ketorolac (an injectable anti-inflammatory drug) and narcotic pain relievers are used if over-the-counter painkillers are inadequate. The doctor might administer intravenous drugs if nausea and vomiting are severe.


Now you know how long it takes for a kidney stone to pass, we’ll answer another frequently asked question. Yes, it is painful to have kidney stones but are kidney stones life-threatening? No, you do not have to worry about the fatality of kidney stones because they don’t result in death. They frequently disappear without medical intervention.

Please consult your doctor as soon as you suspect you have a kidney stone for the best advice and treatment.

Generally speaking, a stone will take longer to pass on its own the bigger it is. You can wait it out, or your doctor can advise getting help. A kidney stone increases your risk of developing other kidney stones. Drink enough water to maintain your urine clear or light yellow, and eat a diet with lots of fruits and vegetables and low in salt to lower your risk of producing more stones.

Also Read: The Conclusive Guide for Smart Dieting, In Actuality

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