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What are the causes of painful urination?

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It is important to note that painful urination is simply discomfort during urination. This can be triggered by the bladder, urethra or the perineum. This symptom is considered common but the pain, burning or stinging sensation might indicate various health conditions.

Usual causes of painful urination

Urinary tract infection

Painful urination is a usual indication of a urinary tract infection (UTI). This can be triggered by a bacterial infection or inflammation of the urinary tract.

Women are more likely to develop urinary tract infections than men. The reason for this is that the urethra among women is shorter and bacteria are likely to thrive in a shorter urethra. In addition, women who are pregnant or in the menopausal stage face a higher risk for developing the infections.

What are the other causes?

Painful urination
Women are more likely to develop urinary tract infections than men.
  • Among men, prostatitis or inflammation of the prostate gland is the main cause of urinary stinging, burning and discomfort.
  • Sexually transmitted infection (STI) such as gonorrhea, genital herpes or chlamydia.
  • Cystitis or inflammation of the bladder lining
  • Kidney stones are masses of hardened material that form in the kidneys

Oftentimes, painful urination is not triggered by an infection but by-products that are utilized on the genital regions. Lotions, soaps and bubble baths can irritate the vaginal tissues. Remember that dyes in laundry detergents and other toiletry products can trigger irritation and result to painful urination among those who have sensitivity.


In some instances, the doctor might prescribe medications to deal with painful urination. It is important to note that antibiotics are used to treat UTI, some STIs and bacterial prostatitis. The doctor will also provide medications to calm an irritated bladder such as tricyclic antidepressants and even acetaminophen with codeine.

When treatment is initiated, painful urination triggered by bacterial infections typically improves rapidly. It is vital to take the medication as prescribed by the doctor to achieve the best results and completely recover.

The pain linked with cystitis might be challenging to manage. The outcome from drug therapy might be slower in which medications must be taken for up to 4 months before the individual starts to feel better.

Lifestyle modifications

  • Avoid using scented laundry detergents and toiletries to minimize the risk for painful urination
  • Utilizing condoms during sexual activity for protection against sexually transmitted infections (STI)
  • Avoidance of foods and beverages that can irritate the bladder

Among those who are suffering from painful urination, it is vital to avoid highly acidic foods to allow the bladder to heal. A bland diet should be followed for several weeks while under medical treatment.

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