When it hurts to urinate

Painful urination is a common problem, but luckily, it’s usually fairly simple to treat. Any number of issues can cause pain or difficulty urinating, a condition that is technically called dysuria. Here’s a look at some of the most likely culprits.

Urinary tract infection. You can develop an infection at any place along the urinary tract—which includes the kidneys, bladder, and urethra. Along with painful urination, a urinary tract infection, or UTI, can cause fever, side pain, and foul-smelling, bloody, or cloudy urine. You may also feel like you need to urinate more often than usual.

Women are more likely than men to develop UTIs. Other factors that put you at risk include having an enlarged prostate, having kidney stones, or having had a urinary catheter.

UTIs can usually be treated with antibiotics. It will take a day or two for them to work, so your doctor may also prescribe phenazopyridine, which can help calm the discomfort while you’re waiting for the antibiotics to kick in.

Although antibiotics work for most people, you may need to see a specialist if the infection keeps coming back.

Sexually transmitted disease. Herpes, gonorrhea, trichomoniasis, and chlamydia are sexually transmitted diseases that can cause pain during urination. Chlamydia, gonorrhea, and trichomoniasis can be treated with antibiotics. Herpes is caused by a virus and may recur intermittently, but antiviral medications can help keep it under control.

Vaginal infections. Yeast infections and bacterial infections in the vagina will sometimes cause painful urination. If you also have a vaginal discharge, this could be the culprit. Your doctor can sort out whether a yeast or a bacterial infection is causing the problem and how to treat it.

Vaginal tears and irritation. Tiny tears in the vaginal skin or irritation from scented soaps or other personal care products can sometimes cause pain during urination.

Bladder or kidney stones. Painful and frequent urination can be just one of several symptoms of bladder or kidney stones.  Other symptoms of kidney stones can include severe pain in the side and back that may radiate to the groin, nausea and vomiting, and pink, red, or brown urine. Bladder stones can cause lower abdominal pain, blood in the urine, and for men, pain in the penis or testicles.

If you have any questions or concerns about painful urination, please don’t hesitate to call our team. We’d be more than happy to schedule an appointment to diagnose the underlying problem and develop a treatment plan. 

Affiliated Urologists is an award-winning practice recognized both locally and nationally that has provided service to patients in Phoenix, Scottsdale, and surrounding communities in the Valley for over 40 years. The physicians emphasize top-of-the-line comprehensive urological care and strive to deliver the highest outcomes for patient satisfaction. To make an appointment, call 602-264-0608 or contact us today.

The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice contained here or in any other educational medical material.

New patients are always welcome.

Affiliated Urologists


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