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Urination - painful

Dysuria; Painful urination

Painful urination is any pain, discomfort, or burning sensation when passing urine.

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Female urinary tract
Male urinary tract

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Considerations

Pain may be felt right where the urine passes out of the body. Or, it may be felt inside the body, behind the pubic bone, or in the bladder or prostate.

Pain on urination is a fairly common problem. People who have pain with urination also may have the urge to urinate more often.

Causes

Painful urination is most often caused by an infection or inflammation somewhere in the urinary tract, such as:

Painful urination in women and girls may be due to:

Other causes of painful urination include:

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Call your health care provider if:

What to Expect at Your Office Visit

Your provider will perform a physical exam and ask questions such as:

A urinalysis will be done. A urine culture may be ordered. If you have had a previous bladder or kidney infection, a more detailed history and physical exam are needed. Extra lab tests will also be needed. A pelvic exam and exam of vaginal fluids are needed for women and girls who have vaginal discharge. Men who have discharge from the penis may need to have a urethral swab done. However, testing a urine sample may be sufficient in some cases.

Other tests may include:

Treatment depends on what is causing the pain.

References

Cody P. Dysuria. In: Kliegman RM, Lye PS, Bordini BJ, 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: Partin AW, Domochowski RR, Kavoussi 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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Review Date: 1/10/2021  

Reviewed By: Kelly L. Stratton, MD, FACS, Associate Professor, Department of Urology, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, OK. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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