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Ureteral Stones


A ureteral stone is a stone that forms in the kidney and moves down the ureter and gets stuck there. The ureter is the tube that takes urine from the kidney to the bladder. Stones can form in the urinary system when your urine has high levels of minerals and salts. Urinary stones can be made of uric acid, calcium, phosphate, or oxalate crystals.

Kidney, Ureters, Bladder


Return to the emergency department if:

  • You have severe pain that does not improve, even after you take medicine.
  • You have vomiting that is not relieved by medicine.
  • You develop a fever.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • You develop a fever.
  • You have any questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

You may need to return for more tests. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.


You may need any of the following:

  • NSAIDs , such as ibuprofen, help decrease swelling, pain, and fever. This medicine is available with or without a doctor's order. NSAIDs can cause stomach bleeding or kidney problems in certain people. If you take blood thinner medicine, always ask your healthcare provider if NSAIDs are safe for you. Always read the medicine label and follow directions.
  • Prescription pain medicine may help decrease pain or help your ureteral stone pass. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you take pain medicine.
  • Nausea medicine may help calm your stomach and prevent vomiting.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.


  • Drink plenty of liquids. Your healthcare provider may tell you to drink at least 8 to 12 (eight-ounce) cups of liquids each day. This helps flush out the ureteral stones when you urinate. Water is the best liquid to drink.
  • Strain your urine every time you go to the bathroom. Urinate through a strainer or a piece of thin cloth to catch the stones. Take the stones to your healthcare provider so they can be sent to the lab for tests. This will help your healthcare providers plan the best treatment for you.
    Look for Stones in the Filter
  • Ask your healthcare provider about any nutrition changes you need to make. You may need to limit certain foods such as foods high in sodium (salt), certain protein foods, or foods high in oxalate.

After you pass your ureteral stone:

Once you have passed your ureteral stone, you may need to do a 24-hour urine test. You may need to save all of your urine for 24 hours. Each time you go to the bathroom, you will urinate into a container. Then you will pour your urine into a larger container that is kept cold. You may be told to write down the time and amount of urine you passed. At the end of 24 hours, the urine is sent to a lab for tests. Results from the test will help your healthcare provider plan ways to prevent more stones from forming.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.