Painful urination: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment

Painful urination: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment
Photo source: Getty images

It is a symptom of inflammation. In women, inflammation is more common, mainly because of the shorter urethra and its location. Dehydration or concentrated urine can also be a cause. Sometimes a sexually transmitted disease is behind this pain. In any case, if it persists, an examination is advisable.

Do you experience sensations of pain, burning, cutting while urinating? Do you have a frequent urge to urinate?
Do you feel pain in the lower abdomen? 
Does it hurt at the start or after urination? 
These issues are more common in women, and they sometimes occur in men. 

Painful urination, also called dysuria, can be a symptom for an inflammatory or infectious disease of the urinary tract or the urethra. In addition, many times a person experiences pain when urinating also in the case of sexually transmitted diseases.

If you are dehydrated, the urine is thickened, concentrated, which can cause pain while urinating.

Sometimes it is possible to feel a higher concentration of urine even in the morning, in the case of the first urination of morning urine. Other times, medications may be behind the irritation. For example, as in the case of some cytostatics.

Irritation of the mucous membrane can also be triggered by exposure to inappropriate toiletries or a reaction to textiles. It is important to use the right products for intimate hygiene.

Underwear should be made of material that breathes and avoid artificial fibres. 

Why does it sting when I urinate?
Why do women experience a burning sensation in the genital area? 
Can frequent urges to urinate be present even without pain? 
Will home treatment help bladder inflammation?

Diseases of the urinary system

In most cases, painful urination is of a more prolonged nature, like several days. It is usually caused by infections and inflammations of the lower urinary tract, i.e. the bladder (cystitis) or the urethra (urethritis).

Inflammatory diseases of this type are caused by bacteria, the largest number of infections are caused by Escherichia coli. In addition to pain, other symptoms can be observed, such as increased body temperature or pain in the lower abdomen. Treatment is antibiotic.

The recurrence of urinary tract infections caused by Escherichia coli is also helped by cranberry preparations. They contain proanthocyanidins, e.g. Cys-controlProanthocyanidins prevent E. coli from attaching to the bladder wall.

In addition to urinary tract disease, painful urination can also manifest itself as kidney inflammation. In addition to pain, the urge to urinate with greater intensity and burning sensation when passing urine are also common in this disease.

female, model, urinary tract, kidneys. ureters, bladder
Any part of the organ system can be affected by inflammation. Source: Getty Images.

Often the following symptoms co-occur:

  • burning, cutting sensation while urinating
  • pain in the lower abdomen
  • urge to urinate frequently, but passing small amounts of urine
  • frequent urination at night
  • bedwetting
  • pain in the lumbar and sacral region
  • blood in the urine macroscopically (visible to the eye), but sometimes only microscopically (not visible to the eye)
  • clouding of urine, other discoloured urine
  • increase in body temperature, fever
  • fatigue
  • feeling like vomiting, vomiting

Močové kamene

Also, in the occurrence of urinary stones that cause cutting pain or burning. The urethra due to the influence of these stones may have a disturbed structure of the mucous membrane, so that the minor presence of blood is not exceptional.

In the same way, even kidney stones that form from accumulated uneliminated minerals cause burning and soreness. These can pass up into the ureter, where they get stuck. This is where more demanding treatment is needed. Even, in the case of stones that are too large, their surgical removal.

Narrowing of the urethra

Constriction, too, can be a cause of pain. Narrowing can occur as a result of an injury, but often the cause is a congenital disease (inborn). Sometimes the causative factor is surgery, for example after gynaecological operations.

A woman with lower abdominal pain, genitourinary tract disease
Pain in the lower abdomen can indicate inflammation of both the urinary and genital systems. Source: Getty Images.

Inflammation of the genital tract

In women, pain when urinating is often a symptom of diseases of the gynecological tract, for example, inflammation of the external genitalia or of the vagina, i.e. ulvovaginitis or vaginitis.

Sexually transmitted diseases

Many times, pain when urinating is caused by infectious sexually transmitted diseases. For example, gonorrhea, yeast infection of the vagina or chlamydia infection are manifested in this way. In this case, it is definitely necessary to visit a medical outpatient clinic, whether urological or gynaecological.

These STDs will also cause pain when urinating:

  • gonorrhoea
  • chlamydial infection
  • Trichomoniasis

Oncological disease

A man is experiencing pain in the urinary system
Pain can be a symptom of oncological disease. Source: Getty Images.

In addition to problems with the excretory system, pain when urinating can also be a sign and symptom of more serious diseases. This is especially true for women with cervical cancer. In men, bladder and prostate tumours.

In this case, a correct diagnosis and detection of the disease as soon as possible is necessary. While the inflammatory disease of the uterus requires antibiotic treatment, in the case of a tumour, a surgical solution with subsequent radiological therapy is necessary.

Only early diagnosis makes it possible to preserve favorable prospects for treatment and complete cure of the affected patient. In any case, underestimation of painful urination, even in less serious diseases, can cause complications and, consequently, a longer period of treatment.

Pain while urinating

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Interesting resources

  • Dysuria at the US National Library of Medicine Medical Subject Headings (MeSH)
  • Mark B. Mengel; L. Peter Schwiebert (2005). Family medicine: ambulatory care & prevention. McGraw-Hill Professional.
  • Mehta P, Reddivari A (2020). "Dysuria". Statpearls.
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