Although kidney stones are more common in men, women do suffer from this condition. Kidney stone symptoms in women are usually very similar to, or the same as, kidney stone symptoms in men. Pain, problems urinating, and flu-like symptoms are the most common symptoms. Because they are very similar to the symptoms experienced before a woman's menstrual cycle, these may be ignored at times.
Pain is one of the most common kidney stone symptoms in women. It often starts out as a mild to moderate cramping, usually located in a woman's side or lower back. This area is roughly where the kidney is located.
As the kidney stone moves down the urinary tract, the pain may worsen, becoming sharper and more intense. It will also usually be felt in the lower region of the abdomen, or in the pelvic or groin area. Pain while urinating is another kidney stone symptom in women.
Additionally, other problems with urination are also kidney stone symptoms. Frequently feeling the need to urinate is another common symptom. Women with kidney stones who feel this usually do not actually have to urinate. This sensation occurs when the kidney stone passes into the duct that carries urine outside of the body, known as the ureter. When the stone pushes on the walls of this duct, a person may feel like she needs to urinate.
Unusually colored urine may be another symptom of kidney stones. Jagged edges on the crystallized stone may damage the delicate lining of the ureter. This can cause blood to be mixed with the urine. Pink, brown, or red urine are all possible symptoms. Sometimes, the blood may not be visible to the naked eye, but laboratory tests will confirm its presence.
When the inside of the ureter is damaged, it can lead to an infection, which may be accompanied by certain flu-like symptoms. Fever and chills are common signs of an infection due to a kidney stone, as are nausea and vomiting. If a woman has other kidney stone symptoms and she begins to experience symptoms of an infection, it is often advised that she seeks medical attention as soon as possible.
Kidney stone symptoms in women are sometimes overlooked or disregarded. This is partly because women are less likely to experience a kidney stone, but more because the symptoms of a kidney stone often mimic the signs of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). For example, the pain felt during the early stages of a kidney stone may feel very similar to menstrual cramps. Also, women who see blood on the toilet paper after urinating may dismiss it as spotting or a small amount of menstrual blood.