What causes pain when urinating? Is it a serious situation? When should you see a doctor? How does it go? Is there any treatment? You can find the answers to all these questions below.
What is pain (dysuria) when urinating?
Pain while urinating (also known as dysuria) is a broad term that describes discomfort while emptying the bladder. This pain may originate from the bladder, urethra, or perineum. The urethra is the tube that carries urine out of your body.
In men, the area between the scrotum and the anus is known as the perineum. In women, the perineum is the area between the anus and the opening of the vagina.
Painful urination is very common. A number of other conditions may accompany the pain, such as burning or stinging .
What causes pain (dysuria) when urinating?
Here are some possible causes of painful urination:
1- Urinary tract infection (UTI)
Painful urination is a common symptom of a urinary tract infection (UTI). A UTI may be the result of a bacterial infection or due to inflammation of the urinary tract.
The urethra, bladder, ureters, and kidneys make up your urinary tract. The ureters are the tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder. Inflammation in any of these organs can cause pain (dysuria) when urinating.
Women experience more UTIs than men. This is because the urethra is shorter in women. A shorter urethra means bacteria have a shorter distance to reach the bladder. ( Source )
Also, women who are pregnant or in the menopause have a higher risk of developing urinary tract infections.
2- sexually transmitted diseases
If you have had a sexually transmitted disease (STD), you may feel pain when urinating. Some STDs that can cause painful urine output include:
- genital herpes
- Gonorrhea (gonorrhea)
It is important to be screened regularly for STDs. This is especially true for people who are sexually active. Because some infections may not show any symptoms and you may not be aware of it.
Related article: Sexually transmitted disease tests
Different medical conditions can cause painful urination. People with prostate may experience pain (dysuria) when urinating due to prostatitis. This condition is inflammation of the prostate gland. Burning and stinging while urinating are also symptoms of prostatitis.
Another cause of painful urination is cystitis, or inflammation of the bladder lining. Interstitial cystitis is also known as painful bladder syndrome and is the most common type of cystitis. Its symptoms include pain and tenderness in the bladder and pelvic region.
Related article: All about cystitis
In some cases, radiation therapy can also cause pain in the bladder and during urination. This condition is known as radiation cystitis.
Urethritis indicates inflammation of the urethra, usually due to an infection by bacteria. Urethritis often causes pain when urinating and can also cause an increased urge to urinate.
Epididymitis is one of the common causes of pain while urinating. Epididymitis is usually a secondary bacterial infection that can be triggered by a number of conditions, such as a urinary tract infection or sexually transmitted infection. Symptoms of epididymitis include blood in the urine, discharge from the penis, and testicular pain.
Related article: All about blood in the urine (hematuria)
7- Pelvic inflammatory disease
Pelvic inflammatory disease can affect the fallopian tubes, ovaries, cervix, and uterus. Among other symptoms, it can cause pain in the abdomen, pain during or after intercourse, and pain when urinating (dysuria).
Related article: Abdominal pain after sexual intercourse
It is a serious infection that usually results from an initial bacterial infection in the vagina and then moves to the reproductive organs.
8- Obstructive uropathy
Obstructive uropathy causes reflux of urine into the kidneys due to an obstruction in the ureter, bladder, or urethra. Causes can vary, but it’s important to seek medical attention when symptoms occur.
Another condition, urethral stricture, can cause narrowing of the urethra, causing pain when urinating.
10- Kidney stones
If you have kidney stones, you may have difficulty urinating comfortably. Kidney stones are masses of hardened material found in the urinary tract.
Related article: All about kidney stones
A side effect of certain medications, such as cancer treatments and some antibiotics, can trigger pain when urinating. You should talk to your doctor if you are worried about any side effects of the medications you are taking.
12- Cleaning products
Sometimes painful urination is not due to an infection. It can also be caused by the products you use in the genital areas. Soaps, lotions and bubble baths can be particularly irritating to vaginal tissues.
Dyes in laundry detergents and other toiletries can also cause irritation and painful urine output.
How does pain (dysuria) pass when urinating?
Identifying the cause of the pain will be the first step before treatment.
Your doctor may prescribe medication to treat painful urination. Antibiotics can treat urinary tract infections, some bacterial infections, and some STDs. Your doctor may also give you different medicine to soothe your irritated bladder.
If you have a painful urination problem due to a bacterial infection, it usually gets better fairly quickly once you start taking the medication. It is useful to always take the medicine exactly as your doctor has recommended.
Pain associated with certain infections, such as interstitial cystitis, is often more difficult to treat. Because the results of drug therapy may be slower. You may need to take medicine for up to 4 months before you start to feel better.
How to prevent pain (dysuria) when urinating?
There are some lifestyle changes you can make to help relieve your symptoms, such as :
- Avoid scented laundry detergents and toiletries to reduce the risk of irritation.
- Use condoms or other means of protection during sexual activity.
- Change your diet to eliminate foods and drinks that can irritate the bladder. ( Source )
- Be careful not to get dehydrated.
When should you see a doctor?
It is important to see your doctor if:
- If the pain is persistent or long-lasting
- If you are pregnant
- If the pain is accompanied by fever
- If you experience discharge from your penis or vagina
- Your urine has a distinctive odor, has blood in it, or is cloudy
- If the pain is accompanied by abdominal pain
- If you pass a bladder or kidney stone
Your doctor may ask about other symptoms and order lab work to help determine the cause of the pain.