When peeing is accompanied by burning, stinging or any other pain or discomfort, you know something’s wrong. Here are some potential reasons for painful urination.
Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
While anyone can get a UTI, they are most common in women and the most common cause of painful urination. About 80% of the time a UTI is to blame if it hurts when you pee. UTI is a bacterial infection. The bacterial overgrowth makes urine acidic which causes the burning sensation as it comes out of the urethra. Antibiotics are the standard treatment for a UTI but if it’s mild, drinking a lot of water and fluids plus taking over-the-counter pain medication will suffice.
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Kidney or bladder stones
Bladder stones can cause irritation in your bladder and block the flow of urine, resulting in pain when you pee. This cause of painful urination is common in men over the age of 50 thanks to an enlarged prostate. For small bladder stones, drinking a lot of water will suffice in passing them through. If they are larger, a doctor may have to break them up with a laser, ultrasound, or surgery.
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The area around the urethra is tender so any infection including a yeast infection can cause painful urination. The chances of getting a yeast infection are higher among women with up to 75% of women getting gone at least once. Antifungal cream for both men and women or oral medication can be used to treat it.
Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI)
STIs are another common cause of painful urination. Infections like chlamydia, gonorrhoea, trichomoniasis, and genital herpes can cause pain when you pee.
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Also known as inflammation of the bladder, cystitis is often though not always caused by a bacterial infection. Resolving it can be done through medication.
Painful bladder syndrome, also known as interstitial cystitis, is a chronic condition in which your bladder holds urine even after your kidneys have filtered it out. This usually makes you feel like peeing more often and only expelling small amounts of urine. Painful urination is a common symptom. Women are more likely to be diagnosed with this condition as they grow older. There’s no cure but there are ways of managing it.
Serious bladder infections can move up to your kidneys which is dangerous. It’s also possible to get a kidney infection after surgery. A kidney infection could cause painful urination and left untreated can lead to serious illness. Antibiotics are often the first line of treatment.
If you’re a man over 50 and it’s painful when you pee and ejaculate, it may be because something is up with your prostate. Prostatitis, also known as an inflamed prostate gland, can happen when bacteria reach your prostate through your urinary tract causing painful urination. Depending on the cause medication including antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs can help. Lifestyle changes involving avoiding trigger foods may also help.
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Bacterial vaginosis (BV)
This is a common vaginal infection in women between the ages of 15 and 44 but the how and why of it remain unknown. Some potential causes are douching and having multiple partners. Women with multiple partners have a higher likelihood of getting it. Bacterial vaginosis can make it hurt when you pee and your vulva and vagina may itch.
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Vaginal atrophy can happen to women when they go through menopause. Hormonal changes make the tissues of the vagina start to slowly shrink and thin out causing painful urination and painful sex. Hormone replacement therapy is used to restore strength, stretchiness, and moisture to the vagina. Lube can be used to make sex more comfortable.
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A vaginal tear can lead to painful urination. The leading cause of vaginal tears is childbirth. It can also occur during sex or from straddling something like a bike seat. Shallow tears can heal on their own but deeper ones need stitches.
Contact dermatitis or an itchy rash caused by an allergic reaction to something can cause painful urination. The vagina is sensitive some things that can cause irritation or an allergic reaction include soaps, shower gels, shaving creams, wipes, laundry detergents, and lubricants. Douching can also lead to an infection or allergic reaction. Douching refers to the practice of squirting water mixed with vinegar, iodine, baking soda or some other substance into the vagina in a misguided attempt to clean it.
Certain skin conditions can develop only on your genitals triggering seriously painful urination and painful sex. Skin conditions that can cause it include eczema and lichen planus both of which can be managed through topical application of steroids.
This refers to infection, swelling, or injury leading to damage to the urethra. It creates scar tissue that blocks the flow of urine leading to painful urination. Surgery may b required to clear the blockage.
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