Bladder stones as a cause of incontinence

Possible cause of incontinence: bladder stones

The urinary bladder is responsible for transporting urine. Around 0.5 to 1.0 liters of urine collect in it, which is constantly produced by the kidneys and released into the urinary bladder. Through the interaction of the muscles, urine can be excreted in a controlled manner via the urethra. Bladder stones either arise in the urinary bladder or they form in the kidney. These urinary stones can pass from the renal pelvis into the bladder via the ureters. If the bladder stone takes on an unfavorable position that hinders the flow of urine, overflow incontinence can occur.

Primary and secondary bladder stones

Bladder stones are caused by the crystallization of stone-forming salts in the urine. Over time, more and more layers are deposited on the small crystals, so that the crystal becomes a solid urinary stone. If the urinary stone forms in the urinary bladder, it is called a primary bladder stone. It usually occurs when the flow of urine is disrupted by an obstacle. In men, enlargement of the prostate is the most common reason for the formation of bladder stones. In women, a tumor, a narrowing in the efferent urethra or a nervous-related bladder emptying disorder can lead to the formation of bladder stones. Secondary bladder stones are urinary stones that form in the kidney and are transported into the bladder along with urine. There they can continue to grow and, in the worst case scenario, form an obstacle to drainage.

How does overflow incontinence occur?

If the bladder stone obstructs the flow of urine, a large amount of urine accumulates in the urinary bladder. Those affected usually feel a constant urge to urinate. The obstacle makes it difficult for urine to be released, in a thin stream or interrupted. The bladder can no longer be completely emptied. Urine build-up occurs. The urinary bladder has to hold more urine than it can release. The sphincter of the urinary bladder at the junction with the urethra cannot withstand the pressure in the long term. It can happen that small amounts of urine flow constantly and uncontrollably. This form of incontinence is called overflow incontinence.

Incontinence caused by bladder stones is usually only temporary
Overflow incontinence can be resolved by removing bladder stones. A common method in addition to cystoscopy is so-called shock wave therapy. The bladder stones are shattered from the outside. The crushed components of the bladder stone are flushed out in the urine. During cystoscopy, the bladder stone can be crushed using the appropriate surgical instruments.