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Hydronephrosis During Pregnancy: My Urologist Told Me The Pain Will Get Worse

Hydronephrosis in PregnancyI have always had “bad luck” when it comes to my kidneys during a pregnancy. I have had kidney stones during each pregnancy (totaling 24 stones now) and this time around is proving no different. Last week, I was diagnosed with kidney obstruction due to a possible kidney stone and hydronephrosis in pregnancy.

Hydronephrosis is not totally uncommon in pregnancy, but according to Radiology Reference, it’s usually a result of,  “a physiological phenomenon due to the presence of the fetus.”  Otherwise known as, the baby is sitting on your ureter and blocking the pee from leaving your body, and since it has no where to go, it goes back into the kidney, causing the kidney to swell and resulting in crazy pain.

Now I am only 14 weeks pregnant and my little uterus-inhabitant is not that big yet, so theoretically, the baby is too small to be pressing on those innards and causing so much pain, yet I still have it. Like I said, I have a history of throwing out kidney stones while pregnant, and there was evidence that it could be the cause of the kidney swelling, which obviously complicates things. Again, according to Radiology Reference, “the prevalence of ureteric calculi in pregnancy is low and is estimated around 0.03 – 0.4 %“, so I beat the odds and am one of the “lucky” ones (read sarcasm). I was prepared for kidney stones given I have had so many during pregnancy in the past, but this kidney pain is a new one.

I saw my urologist last week (who has been administering ultrasounds during this pregnancy), and he broke the news that since I’ve developed hydronephrosis this early in pregnancy, it’s just going to be something that I have to manage. If that wasn’t bad enough, he warned me that it’s likely to get worse as the baby grows and actually does press on all my innards.

One great thing is that the baby is happy and unaware. S/he is happily kicking away and growing well, and I’m cool with taking some pain if it means s/he can continue to grow into a healthy child.

:: Has anyone else experienced hydronephrosis in pregnancy and/or kidney stones? ::

Photo credit: Devan McGuinness

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