Gallstones can cause strong intermittent pain (pain that comes and goes) in the upper right part of the abdomen. The pain can be associated with nausea and retching.
Gallstones form in the gallbladder and consist of deposits of cholesterol and bile salts. The location of gallstones depends on the size of the stone. The biggest stones are often preferable, as they remain in the gallbladder and do not move to the neck of the gallbladder or the bile ducts, where they can cause a blockage resulting in symptoms. The prevalence of gallstones is higher in premenopausal women, but after the menopause, the prevalence is about the same among women and men.