Painful urination – known by the medical term “dysuria” – is a relatively common problem that affects both men and women. Because dysuria may be a sign of something chronic that requires medical attention, it’s important to treat the cause and prevent recurring problems. Here is what you need to know about the condition known as dysuria.
Dysuria presents as a burning sensation that occurs during urination, usually at the point from which the urine exits the body. Some report the pain a bit higher, often behind the pubic bone or in the bladder area. For men, the pain may be in the prostate. Often, pain is accompanied by a sense of urgency or a need to urinate more often than usual, or having a sudden need to urinate.
Infections are the most common cause behind painful urination. Some infections are in the urethra, or the passage that leads from the bladder out of your body. Sometimes, the infection may occur in the bladder itself. What causes these infections? In women, hygiene problems can lead to frequent urinary tract infections; these often arise when wiping is done from the back to front, which can cause an infection in the urinary tract opening. Women who are postmenopausal may have thinning tissue in the urinary and genital areas; this can leave them most susceptible to infection and urinary tract infections as well. For both sexes, herpes in the genital area can lead to infection of the urinary tract as can yeast infections, or improper or incomplete treatments with antibiotics. Meanwhile, men whose prostates become infected often report dysuria when urinating.
Irritation and Inflammation. Irritated or inflamed tissue can often lead to painful urination. There are a number of different reasons for this, including:
- Interstitial cystitis or painful bladder, which is a chronic irritation of the tissues lining the bladder.
- Radiation treatments, which can damage the tissues of the bladder and urinary tract.
- Friction during intercourse, which can lead to inflammation in the woman’s urinary tract.
- Bath or feminine hygiene products such as douches that may cause sensitivity or inflammation.
- Dehydration, which can cause the urine to become concentrated and cause irritation of the urethra on exit.
If the painful urination doesn’t clear up in a day or two, call your doctor. You may have an infection and need treatment. Contact your urologist right away if you are experiencing any of the following:
- Foul smelling or cloudy urine.
- Discharge or blood in your urine.
- Fever or chills.
- Pelvic pain.
If you do have any of the above symptoms, your doctor or nurse practitioner will ask for a urine sample which will reveal any infections or other problems. If there is any discharge or suspicion of sexually transmitted disease, other tests may be required. For chronic problems with painful urination, an ultrasound or inspection of the inside of the bladder may be performed. Most straightforward cases of urinary tract infections are treated with antibiotics.
Dysuria not only is painful, it could be a sign of something more. If you are experiencing painful urination or have any other urological concerns – from prostate health and kidney stones to incontinence – contact Urologic Surgeons of Arizona, where Harvard-trained urologist Dr. Kashif Alvi will provide you with world-class urological care. When was the last time you saw your urologist? Call Urologic Surgeons of Arizona today at (480) 409-5060 or request an appointment online.