Potential Causes of Dysuria

June 7, 2016
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Dysuria or painful urination is burning or discomfort, usually sensed in the tube that transports urine out of the bladder or the area surrounding the genitals. There are a number of different dysuria causes, ranging from minor to serious.
Potential Causes of Painful Urination
A wide range of conditions can lead to dysuria. In men, the most frequent causes are prostate issues or urethritis. In women, the most common cause us a urinary tract infection. Common medical conditions can also cause painful urination. These include:

  • Bladder stones
  • Bladder infections
  • Chlamydia, genital herpes and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
  • Drugs that have bladder irritation as a side effect
  • Recent urinary tract procedure
  • Retained or forgotten tampon
  • Kidney stones
  • Kidney infection
  • Prostate inflammation (prostatitis)
  • Perfumes, soaps and other personal care products
  • Infection of the urethra
  • Narrowing of the urethra
  • Vaginal infection (vaginitis)
  • Urinary tract infection (UTI)
  • Yeast infections

When to Seek Treatment
Most of the time, painful urination improves on its own. In certain instances, however, you should seek an evaluation from your physician. These include:

  • Prolonged or recurring dysuria
  • Discharge or drainage from the vagina or penis
  • Fever
  • Cloudy or bloody urine
  • Back pain or side pain
  • Passing a bladder or kidney stone

Pregnant women should also tell their doctors if they have painful urination, so he or she can rule out any potential risk to the fetus.
What to Expect
After a physical exam, your doctor will ask questions related to onset, duration and symptoms. He or she may also request lab tests to look for blood, white blood cells or bacteria within your urine. Treatment depends on the exact cause of the symptoms. Antibiotics can be used to treat many types of infections. That said, although urinary tract infection is the most frequent cause of painful urination, empiric treatment with antibiotics is not always appropriate. If you are being treated for dysuria caused by an STI and are sexually active, your sex partners will need to be treated, too, or recurrence is likely.

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