Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

Kidney stones are small masses that are formed inside the kidneys and comprises of salts and minerals. These stones over a period of time may travel down from the site of formation to the urinary tract. The size of these crystalline masses may range from a tiny speck to as big as a ping pong ball. Kidney stones when formed are usually accompanied by symptoms such as blood in urine, abdominal pain, lower back painflank pain and groin pain. Studies have shown that about 5% of people experiences incidence of kidney stones at least once in their lifetime. Depending on a number of factors, the kidney stones may take varied time to pass.

How Long Does it Take for the Kidney Stone to Pass?

How Long Does it Take for the Kidney Stone to Pass?

Passing a kidney stone is associated with extreme pain. The amount of time required to pass a kidney stone depends on the location and size of the kidney stone. In mild cases, most of the individuals are able to pass the kidney stone out of the body within 48 hours by drinking a lot of water. If the kidney stones are very small, they will pass out on their own without any intervention. Stones that are 4 mm in size have 80 percent chances of passing without intervention, whereas stones that are 5 mm have about 20 percent chances of passing without intervention. Kidney stones that are above 9 mm in size may require medical intervention such as lithotripsy or surgery such as nephrolithotomy.

Stones that are closer to the bladder are expelled out of the body faster. As per studies done by American Urological Association, for a stone lodged in the ureters, it takes about 8 days for the stones less than 2 mm to pass out of the body. Stones between 2 to 4 mm take 12 days while 4-6 mm stones take about 22 days to pass out of the body. Kidney stones take about 40 days to pass out on its own without any medication of other intervention. Antispasmodics are usually prescribed to relax the ureter and ease the passage of kidney stones. When on antispasmodic, it may take about 5 to 7 days to pass out the kidney stone. If the kidney stone does not pass out on its own within 2 months, other medical intervention are considered.


Kidney stones are a painful condition and may be associated with other symptoms such as burning with urination, chills, fever, nausea, vomiting etc. The amount of time that kidney stones take to travel from the kidneys to the ureter and finally pass out of the body depends on the size as well as location of kidney stones. Smaller stones usually pass out of the body without the need for any intervention whereas larger stones may lead to complications and may require medications and surgical intervention. Stones which are found closer to the bladder often pass out faster than those which are lodged at a much deeper location. It is advised to stay adequately hydrated to avoid development of kidney stones. Following a low protein and low sodium diet with calcium rich diet also helps in reducing the chances of kidney stones development.

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:


Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: February 28, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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