Peeing is regularly considered to be a simple act. So when urinating becomes a painful experience, it should be an immediate red flag. Burning, stinging, or other painful discomforts can be an obvious sign that something’s not quite right down there.
For women, this is, unfortunately, a pain they will experience at least once in their life. On any given day, Lakeisha Richardson, MD, estimates that 30 percent of the patients visiting her Greenville, Mississippi medical practice, go to her due to painful urination.
Known as dysuria, painful urination could be a sign of a variety of infections, some of which require specific treatment. Other times, experiencing pain when peeing can resolve on its own, but you won’t know this can happen unless you’ve seen your doctor.
Here are seven signs to look for that might be causing your painful urination.
While most common among women, UTIs can be experienced by anyone and is oftentimes the culprit behind your painful urination. “I would say about 80 percent of the time [painful urination] is a UTI,” said Dr. Richardson. The infection occurs when bacteria makes their way into the urethra and move into the bladder. “The bacterial overgrowth makes urine acidic,” said Dr. Richardson. “When it’s coming out of the urethra, you’ll get the burning sensation.” A UTI can also cause symptoms such as frequent urination and a strong urge to pee. Oral antibiotics are often prescribed for UTIs, but if the symptoms are mild, you might be able to get through it by drinking a lot of fluids.
6. Sexually Transmitted Infections
Sometimes when it hurts to pee it might not always be due to a UTI; it can also be caused by an STI, according to Dr. Richardson. “Most women always assume it’s a UTI and won’t consider that it could be an STI,” she said. Chlamydia, gonorrhea, trichomoniasis, and genital herpes can all cause painful urination as well. Other STI symptoms include itchiness, changes to vaginal discharge, and blisters or sores on your vagina or vulva if you have herpes. In-office or at-home STI tests can help you figure out the cause of the symptoms. Treatment largely depends on the type of infection, but your doctor will steer you towards the best decision on antibiotics or antiviral medications.