I disagree that women experience kidney stones less often than men. It runs in my family. We've been labeled by our urologist as stone makers.
My first stone was only 3mm. It was about 10 years ago, I was not even 30 years old. I stayed at work until the pain was unbearable and drove to the clinic. The pain was far more painful than giving birth (three kids without pain meds). They gave me morphine and that did nothing but make me high. The best med is an injection of Toradol. It’s non-narcotic instant relief.
My CT scans show 20-plus stones in each kidney of varying sizes. The largest is 1cm. Stones don't hurt until they decide to move out of the kidney.
A positive: As the years go by the pain is almost non-existent. My symptoms are bloody urine. For weeks. No pain. I pass about six stones a year, the largest being 8mm and none of them have hurt as much as that first tiny stone. This leads me to believe that 1) some kind of nerve damage has occurred. 2) Or perhaps the lining of the ureters have been thoroughly scraped out which leaves the tube less constricted.
Because of my success rate in passing large stones I am not a candidate for any type of blasting or surgical removal.