Urination - painful
Painful urination describes any pain, discomfort, or burning sensation during urination.
Dysuria; Painful urination
Pain on urination is a fairly common problem. It is most often caused by an infection somewhere in the urinary tract.
- Candidal dermatitis or vaginitis
- Contact dermatitis or vulvitis
- Interstitial cystitis
- Radiation cystitis
- Urinary retention
- Urinary tract infection
- Urethritis (in men) caused by gonorrhea or chlamydia
Follow prescribed therapy.
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Call your health care provider if:
- There is drainage or a discharge from your penis or vagina
- You are pregnant and are having any painful urination
- You have painful urination that lasts for more than 1 day
- You notice blood in your urine
What to Expect at Your Office Visit
Your health care provider will perform a physical examination and ask questions about your symptoms and medication history, such as:
- When did the painful urination begin?
- Does the pain occur only during urination?
- Does the pain stop after urination?
- Is there back pain?
- What other symptoms do you have?
- Have you had a fever higher than 100 degrees F?
- Is there drainage or discharge between urinations?
- Is there an abnormal urine odor?
- Are there any changes in the volume or frequency of urination?
- Do you have the urge to urinate?
- Did you notice blood in the urine?
- Are there any rashes or itching in the genital area?
- What medications are you taking?
- Are you pregnant or could you be pregnant?
- Has there been a previous bladder infection?
- Do you have any allergies to any medications?
- Have you had sexual intercourse with someone who has, or may have, gonorrhea or chlamydia?
- Has there been a recent change in your brand of soap, detergent, or fabric softener?
- Have you had surgery or radiation to your urinary or sexual organs?
A urinalysis will be done. A urine culture may be ordered. If you have had a previous bladder or kidney infections, a more detailed history and physical are needed, and extra laboratory studies may be necessary. A pelvic exam and examination of vaginal fluids are necessary if a female has a vaginal discharge. Men who have penile discharge will need to have a urethral swab done.
Treatment depends on what is causing the pain.
Reviewed By: Louis S. Liou, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Urology, Department of Surgery, Boston University School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.