Painful urination or dysuria: what is this, causes, symptoms, diagnostics, treatment, prevention

Urination – painful; Dysuria; Painful urination

Urodynia, also known as dysuria, represents a state, in which a person experiences pain or discomfort when urinating. It can be felt in the lower abdomen, urethra or even in the bladder when urinating.

The condition is common among men, and among women and can be caused by many different factors.

What is painful urination?

Painful urination is a condition, in which a person experiences pain or discomfort when urinating. This discomfort may be felt in the lower abdomen, urethra or even in the bladder. It can range from mild to severe and may come in waves or steadily..

Painful urination is also known as dysuria and is a common condition., who suffer like men, so do women. Depending on the cause of the pain, it can last from several days to several weeks and may be accompanied by other symptoms., such as burning, itch, strangury, frequent urination or blood in the urine.

Causes of painful urination

There are a number of different causes of painful urination., including:


The most common cause of painful urination is a urinary tract infection. (IMP) or a bladder infection. These infections are often caused by bacteria, entering the urethra and multiplying in the bladder.

To other types of infections, which can cause painful urination, include diseases, Sexually Transmitted Infections (STD), such as chlamydia and gonorrhea, as well as vulvovaginal infections.


Viral infections, such as the herpes virus, influenza virus and HIV, can also cause painful urination.


Injury to the urethra or bladder can also cause painful urination.. It is more common in men, than in women, and may be due to trauma, surgery or prolonged exposure to catheters.


Some substances can irritate the urethra, e.g. bath foam, perfume, soap and spermicide. It can cause pain when urinating.

Other disorders

Stones in the kidneys, an enlarged prostate and some types of tumors can also cause painful urination.

Symptoms of painful urination

The most common symptom of painful urination is a burning or tingling sensation when urinating.. Other symptoms may include:

  • Frequent urination
  • Difficulty starting or stopping urination
  • Passing a small amount of urine
  • Cloudy or strong-smelling urine
  • Lower abdominal pain, back or side.
  • Blood in the urine

When to see a doctor

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible. They can provide a more accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.

Questions, that your doctor may ask

When you come to the doctor, to discuss painful urination, it, probably, ask you the following questions:

  • When the pain came?
  • Where do you feel the pain?
  • How bad is the pain?
  • Have you had this pain before?
  • Have you recently changed sexual partners?
  • Do you use bubble baths or scented soaps??
  • Do you have other symptoms, such as fever, nausea or blood in the urine?

Diagnosis of painful urination

The first step in diagnosing painful urination is a physical examination.. During the exam, your doctor will look for signs of infection and may order a urine sample or other lab tests to check for bacteria or other organisms..

The doctor may also do an ultrasound., cystoscopy or other imaging tests, to detect any abnormalities in the urinary tract.

Treatment for painful urination

Treatment for painful urination depends on the underlying cause.


If you have been diagnosed with an infection, doctor, probably, prescribe antibiotics to treat the infection. It is important to complete the entire course of antibiotics, as prescribed by your doctor, even if the pain disappears before, how do you finish the course.


If you have been diagnosed with a viral infection, your doctor, probably, prescribe antiviral drugs, to reduce symptoms of the virus and help your body fight infection.


If you have a urinary tract injury, your doctor may recommend that you wear protective clothing, eg, cotton underwear, and avoid actions, that can aggravate the injury. They may also prescribe medications to reduce inflammation and pain..


If you are experiencing painful urination due to irritation from bath foam, soaps or perfumes, your doctor may recommend avoiding these substances or switching to a milder version.

Other disorders

When other states, such as kidney stones, enlarged prostate or tumors, a doctor may prescribe medication or recommend surgery to treat the condition.

Home Treatment for Painful Urination

In addition to medication, prescribed by your doctor, there are some things, which you can make at home, to relieve symptoms:

  • Drink plenty of fluids. Drinking plenty of fluids helps flush out bacteria from the urinary tract., as well as reduce pain and discomfort, associated with painful urination.
  • Need to urinate after intercourse. Urinating after intercourse can help reduce your risk of developing a urinary tract infection.
  • Take a warm bath. A warm bath can help relax the muscles in your lower abdomen and bladder and reduce pain., associated with painful urination.
  • Apply a heating pad. Apply a heating pad to your lower abdomen or back, to reduce pain and discomfort.
  • Avoid irritants. Avoid such irritants, like bubble bath, perfume, soap and spermicide, which may also help reduce pain and symptoms, associated with painful urination.

Prevention of painful urination

There are several measures, you can take, to reduce the risk of painful urination:

  • Drink plenty of fluids. Sufficient fluids help flush out bacteria from the urinary tract and reduce the risk of urinary tract infections..
  • Urinate after intercourse. It is important to urinate immediately after intercourse, to reduce the risk of developing a urinary tract infection.
  • Avoid irritants. Avoid such irritants, like bubble bath, perfume, soap and spermicide, which may also reduce the risk of developing painful urination.
  • Practice safe sex. Using condoms during intercourse may reduce the risk of contracting infections, sexually transmitted.

Used sources and literature

Cody P. Dysuria. In: Kliegman RM, Lye PS, BJ borders, Toth H, Basel D, eds. Nelson Pediatric Symptom-Based Diagnosis. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 18.

Germann CA, Holmes JA. Selected urologic disorders. In: Walls RM, Hockberger RS, Gausche-Hill M, eds. Rosen’s Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 89.

Kooper KL, Badalato G, Rutman MP. Infections of the urinary tract. In: Party AW, Domochowski RR, Kavousi LR, Peters CA, eds. Campbell-Walsh-Wein Urology. 12th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 55.

Sobel JD, Down P. Urinary tract infections. In: Bennett JE, Dolin R, Blaser MJ, eds. Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett’s Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 72.

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