Painful Urination

Fact Checked

Painful urination is any pain, discomfort or

burning sensation when passing urine or after urination. It is a quite common problem.The pain is not always felt where the urine exits the body, but it may also be felt inside the body, such as in the bladder, or prostate, or behind the pubic bone.Individuals who complain of painful urination are likely to complain of increase in urinary frequency. Painful urination is also called dysuria.

One of the most common causes of painful urination is urinary tract infection . The urinary tract is comprised of organs, tubes and muscles that function together to create, transport, store and discharge urine in the body. Urine is made up of water and wastes that have been filtered from blood by the body’s kidneys, which then passes the ureters carrying the urine from the kidneys to the bladder. The urethra will then carry from the bladder to out of the body.

Causes of Painful Urination

The pain may be caused but by problems in the bladder, urethra or perineum. In men, the perineum is the area between the scrotum and the anus, whereas, in women, it is the area between the opening of the vagina and the anus. The following may lead to painful urination:

  • Urinary tract infection or inflammation from bacteria entering the urethra
    • Bladder infection
    • Urethral swelling and irritation
    • Kidney infection
    • Ureter infection
  • In women and children
    • Vaginal irritation from bubble baths, perfumes or lotions
    • Vulvovaginitis, such as yeast or other infections of the vulva and vagina
    • Atrophic vaginitis during menopause
    • Herpes infection
  • Other causes
    • Sexually transmitted diseases such as, gonorrhoea, chlamydia and genital herpes
    • Prostate inflammation
    • Interstitial cystitis
    • Radiation cystitis

Accompanying Symptoms of Painful Urination

The following symptoms may accompany painful urination. If the symptoms are present

  • Urinary tract infection
    • Cloudy or bloody urine
    • Foul or stronger-smelling urine
    • Increased urinary frequency or need to urinate but usually comes in small amounts
    • Fever
    • In males, persisting pain in the penis that may linger even after urination
  • Vaginal infection
    • Change in texture and odour of vaginal discharge
  • Sexually transmitted infections
    • Itching and burning
    • Blisters or sores
    • Irregular discharge
Painful Urination
Painful Urination

First Aid Management for Painful Urination

Treatment for painful urination will depend on the underlying cause. It is necessary to schedule a visit to the doctor immediately to avoid complications from infections and other causes. While a doctor’s visit may not be given immediately, there are several ways to ease the painful urination but it is still required to be diagnosed by a doctor for proper treatment. These include:

  • If painful urination is caused by irritation from particular irritants, identify the irritant and avoid it.
  • Drink more water. Avoid highly acidic foods and drinks to avoid prolonging healing period of the bladder.
  • Take over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen, etc.

Disclaimer: This article does not provide medical advice or treatment. This information given should not be used for self-diagnosis of the possible conditions. Seek medical attention at all times with regard to painful urination. To learn more about how to manage painful urination and recognize symptoms, enrol in First Aid Courses with St Mark James training.


Dysuria (Painful Urination) (2012). WebMD Medical Reference. Retrieved September 9, 2013 from

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