Dysuria – Burning When Urinating: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Medical definition:

Dysuria is a symptom of pain, discomfort, or burning when urinating. It is more common in women and is more common in older men in the case of men.

The pain can be annoying when you experience it every time you urinate. Since urination is a daily activity, you may feel afraid of bathroom visits and eventually avoid them, making things worse.

Dysuria is a medical term used to describe uncomfortable or painful urination. This pain can occur before and after urinating.

Some people say they have an irritating or burning sensation in the tube where the urine leaves the body, called the urethra. Other people have pain in the abdomen, flank, or back.


People may complain that they have to urinate several times a day (urinary frequency) or that they have to urinate immediately (urinary urgency); however, when they go to the bathroom, very little urine comes out.

Men are also more likely than women to complain about taking more time to start urinating even though they feel the need to go (called urinary hesitation).


Causes of dysuria

There are several reasons why a person may have dysuria. The most common cause is a form of urinary tract infection.

When bacteria enter the body, they can multiply rapidly and become very irritating to the urinary tract. This can cause infections in the urethra, bladder, and kidney. It can even cause prostate infections in men.

One of the most common causative bacteria is Escherichia coli, commonly known as E. coli, found in the gastrointestinal tract.

Because there is a shorter distance between the urethra and the rectum in women, bacteria from the gastrointestinal tract can quickly enter the urinary tract. This is why women are more likely to have infections than men.

Irritation, trauma, and obstruction of the urinary system are other problems that can lead to dysuria.

A person may be sensitive to certain soaps, detergents, lotions, and perfumes that may stimulate an allergic reaction in the urethra.

There are also injuries due to catheter placement, damages, or any tissue alteration that may cause discomfort when contact with urine.

The extreme pain of medical conditions that block or reduce urine flow is seen in people with kidney, urethral, ​​and bladder stones.

Cancers of the urinary tract that cause tumors can also cause pain when urinating.

The factors that can increase the probabilities are:

  • Diabetes.
  • Advanced age.
  • Kidney stones
  • The pregnancy.
  • Have a urinary catheter in place.

In addition to painful urination, other symptoms include:

  • Fever.
  • Smelly or smelly urine.
  • Urine is cloudy or bloody.
  • Increased urinary frequency or desire to urinate.
  • Pain.

Sometimes, painful urination can be related to a vaginal infection, such as a fungal infection. With vaginal infections, you can also expect vaginal discharge and odor changes.

Sexually transmitted infections can also cause pain when urinating. These include:

  • Herpes genital.
  • Chlamydia
  • Gonorrhea.

In addition to painful urination, these sexually transmitted infections can also cause symptoms such as:

  • Itch.
  • Ardor.
  • Blisters or sores for genital herpes.
  • Inflammation and irritation, a variety of problems, can cause inflammation or irritation of the urinary tract or genital area, which produces the symptom of painful urination.

In addition to infections, other reasons why the area may be irritated or inflamed include:

  • Stones in the urinary tract.
  • Irritation of the urethra due to sexual activity.
  • Interstitial cystitis is a condition caused by inflammation of the bladder.
  • Vaginal changes related to menopause.
  • Activities such as riding or riding a bicycle.
  • Vaginal sensitivity or irritation is related to scented soaps or bubble baths, toilet paper, or other products such as douching or spermicides.

Infections can occur anywhere in the urinary tract, including:

  • Kidneys
  • Ureter (tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder).
  • Bladder.
  • Urethra (bladder tube that carries urine out of the body).
  • Urinary tract infections are most often caused by bacteria that enter the urinary tract through the urethra.


After a history and a physical examination, your doctor may request laboratory tests to help diagnose the cause of your dysuria symptoms. Then you can start a specific treatment.

To help determine the cause, the doctor may ask if you have pain when you urinate:

  • It started suddenly or gradually.
  • It happened once or many times.
  • You feel at the beginning of urination.
  • The doctor may also ask if your painful urination is accompanied by symptoms such as:
  • Fever.
  • Side pain.

The doctor may also want to know if painful urination is accompanied by changes in the flow of urine, such as:

  • Difficulty in starting the flow.
  • Increased frequency or need to urinate.

Moreover, your doctor may also ask if there are changes in the character of the urine and painful urination. These include changes in urine such as:

  • Color.
  • Quantity.
  • Blood in the urine.
  • Pus in the urine.

The answers to these questions will give clues to your doctor about the cause.

If the doctor suspects dysuria comes from an infection, you will be asked to provide your urine sample in a small cup. Then it will be tested to discover the type of bacteria it contains.

Based on the results, a specific antibiotic will be prescribed to help eliminate the particular bacteria.

To directly diminish the sensation of pain and burning of dysuria, certain analgesics can be taken that numb the urinary tract.

Other treatments are also based on the causes of dysuria. If the discomfort comes from the irritation of the skin, it is beneficial to suspend the use of the problematic agents.