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Dysuria: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment

Medically reviewed by Jezreel Esguerra, MD · General Practitioner

Written by Nikita Bhalla · Updated Mar 30, 2023

    Dysuria: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment

    Dysuria, commonly referred to as painful urination, is a condition that causes pain or discomfort while peeing. It is a common condition seen in both men and women. Its symptoms include pain in the bladder or urethra, frequent urination, smelly urine, fever, or presence of blood in the urine. The condition is mostly seen in pregnant women and individuals with other health conditions including diabetes, urinary tract infections, etc.

    Symptoms of Dysuria

    Common symptoms of dysuria include pain or discomfort while urinating. You may also experience a burning or itching sensation while peeing. Some symptoms may vary based on gender.

    In addition to the above symptoms, dysuria is a rare symptom of bladder cancer. More frequently, it can be seen in those with urinary tract infections, vaginal infections, etc.

    • Individuals with urinary tract infections may experience frequent urination, smelly urine, and back pain.
    • People with prostate infection may experience pain in the penis, painful ejaculation, or an urge to pee frequently.
    • Those with kidney stones may experience nausea, vomiting, fever, frequent but small amount of urination, back pain.
    • Patients with ovarian cysts may experience painful periods, pain in the pelvic area, breast tenderness.


    Possible Causes of Dysuria

    • Many conditions can cause dysuria; the most common among these is urinary tract infection (UTI). Women are more likely to develop UTI as compared to men.
    • There are certain sexually transmitted infections like gonorrhea, chlamydia, and genital herpes that make a person more prone to developing dysuria.
    • Other conditions that cause painful urination include kidney stones, yeast infection, prostatitis, kidney infection, etc.
    • It is also caused as a side effect to certain medications, such as medications to treat cancer, bladder infection, etc.
    • Certain skincare products can also cause the condition.
    • Consumption of coffee, tea, alcohol, carbonated drinks, spicy and acidic food in excess quantity.

    Risk Factors

    Dysuria is a common condition in both men and women. A person is at a higher risk of developing the condition if:

    • He or she has a history of bladder diseases
    • They have other medical conditions such as diabetes
    • The patient is pregnant
    • There is inflammation in your urinary tract system or reproductive system
    • An individual is undergoing cancer treatment
    • There is a history of urinary tract history

    Diagnosing Dysuria: How is it Done?

    If you experience any symptoms of dysuria, consult your doctor.

  • Your doctor will do a physical examination and ask you about your symptoms including the location and severity of the pain and if you have any other symptoms including fever, cold, etc.
  • Then, they may also ask you about your medical history and if you currently taking any medications.
  • Your doctor may also ask you to do certain medical tests including urine tests, vaginal/urethral swab test, and other imaging tests.
  • The doctor will advise you to have either a urinalysis or urine culture, or both. In urinalysis, you will need to submit your urine samples, which will further be analyzed using certain chemicals. This test helps to check the presence of any abnormal substances in the body, pus cells, stones, etc. In urine culture, you will submit your urine sample as well. It will be placed in an environment for a specific period to check for any bacterial growth. If there’s any presence of bacterial growth it is an indication of an infection, while no growth of bacteria is an indication of no infection.
    • In some cases, your doctor may also recommend swab tests, vaginal swabs in women and urethral swabs in men. They then will place your swabs in an environment suitable for bacteria to thrive, and will observe if there will be bacterial growth. The colony of bacteria will then undergo analysis with the use of a microscope.
    • Other diagnosis options include radiological examination which may include X-ray, cystoscopy, ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or computed tomography (CT) scan, etc. These tests are helpful to get a clear view of the urinary system and other organs.

    Treatment for Dysuria

    Treatment of dysuria mainly includes medications and surgery.

    However, the treatment options may vary depending on the cause of the condition. For instance, if you have the condition because of urinary tract infections or sexually transmitted infections (STIs), your doctor may recommend antibiotics. If your condition is because of kidney stones, your doctor may prescribe you medications to treat kidney stones.

    Make sure you complete the dosage of the medications recommended by your doctor. Your doctor may ask you for a follow-up visit to check the effectiveness of the treatment. If you or your doctor feels there’s no improvement in the condition, your doctor may change the medications.

    In severe cases, when medications aren’t effective to treat kidney stones or if there’s any presence of a tumor or abnormal growth, your doctor may recommend surgery.


    Lifestyle Changes

    • Avoid using scented skincare products or detergents laden with chemicals to avoid irritation or infection.
    • Avoid or limit your consumption of food and drinks that disturb the functioning of your bladder.
    • If you are taking medications to treat painful urination, make sure you consume food that does not contain any spices or acidic substances.
    • Avoid or limit your consumption of alcohol.
    • If you have any underlying medical condition, make sure you take care of your body properly to avoid any infection or further damage.
    • You may also consider having blood tests or full body checkups at regular intervals.

    Home Remedies

    • Eat a well-balanced diet that includes all the vital nutrients to keep your mind and body healthy.
    • Seek professional help and practice exercises to boost your immunity and improve blood circulation.
    • It is good to increase your fluid intake to flush out toxins from your body. While doing so make sure you do not overdo it. You may also ask your doctor the amount of fluid you must take based on your age, gender, and health conditions.

    Learn more about address bladder problems here.


    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Medically reviewed by

    Jezreel Esguerra, MD

    General Practitioner

    Written by Nikita Bhalla · Updated Mar 30, 2023

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