Painful Urination (DYSURIA)

Painful urination (dysuria) is pain or burning with urination, usually felt in the tube that carries urine out of your bladder (urethra) or the area surrounding your genitals (perineum). Anyone may experience bouts of painful urination. Painful urination is the most common symptom of a urinary tract infection, especially in women. In men, urinary tract infections are less common, so painful urination is most commonly caused by urethritis and certain prostate conditions.


Painful urination can be caused by a number of conditions and certain substances, including:

  • Bladder stones
  • Chlamydia
  • Cystitis (bladder infection)
  • Drugs, such as those used in cancer treatment, that have bladder irritation as a side effect
  • Genital herpes
  • Gonorrhea
  • Ingredients in personal-care products, such as soaps or perfumes
  • Kidney infection
  • Kidney stones
  • Prostatitis (prostate inflammation)
  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Vaginitis (vaginal infection)
  • Urethritis (infection of the urethra)
  • Urinary tract infection (UTI)
  • Yeast infection (vaginal)

When to see a Doctor:

Make an appointment to see your doctor if:

  • Your painful urination persists
  • You have drainage or discharge from your penis or vaginal area
  • You see blood in your urine
  • You have a fever
  • You have back pain or pain in your side (flank pain)
  • You pass a kidney or bladder (urinary tract) stone

*If you’re pregnant, tell your doctor if you have any pain when you urinate.

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