Experiencing burning when urinating is commonly called dysuria in the medical community. It is often an indication of inflammation in the lower urinary tract, which is comprised of the urethra and bladder in both sexes (it also includes the prostate in men.) A burning sensation may also be felt if inflammation reaches the deeper structures of the urinary tract.
The pain experienced is often described as stinging and it can vary in intensity from mild to severe. This burning feeling may continue after you’ve finished urinating for several minutes or even hours afterward. It can also be accompanied by other symptoms including difficulty urinating, increased urgency to urinate, and blood in the urine.
What causes burning urination?
There are a multitude of different reasons to have burning pain when urinating. The following are some of the most common causes:
Urinary tract infection (UTI): The most common explanation for dysuria and it’s caused by bacterial infections of the urinary tract. Bacteria often attaches to the inner lining of the urethra and can spread rapidly to the other urinary structures if not promptly treated. Symptoms of a urinary tract infection often include pain on urination, changes in urine color, and increased frequency of urination.
Sexually transmitted infections (STI): These may include genital herpes, chlamydia, and gonorrhea. These sexually transmitted infections are also caused by bacteria and may present alongside vaginal discharge, genital sores, and itchiness of the groin area.
Vaginal yeast infection: A common infection occurring in women also known as thrush. It may cause a burning sensation when urinating as well as itchiness and redness around the vaginal area.
Urethral stricture: This condition commonly affects men and occurs when the urethra narrows due to tissue inflammation or the presence of scar tissue. Because urine is unable to pass freely, it causes undue tissue irritation, leading to a burning sensation.
Bacterial vaginosis: Known for the fishy odor it can produce, this bacterial infection primarily affects women.
Vaginal tears: This may occur during vigorous sex sessions, leading to tearing of the vaginal tissue. When urine comes in contact with these abrasions, it can lead to a surge of pain and the sensation of burning. Vaginal tears may also occur as a result of childbirth.
Unnecessary feminine hygiene products: The use of products that claim to make the vagina clean or smell fresh actually disrupt its natural pH balance. The vagina is actually a good self-cleaner and doesn’t need products like vaginal douches or feminine hygiene washes to help keep it clean. The skin of the vagina is very sensitive, becoming easily irritated if it comes into contact with certain chemicals. This may lead to burning upon urination.
Atrophic vaginitis: A post-menopausal symptom caused by changing levels of hormones. It results in the thinning of the vulva and vagina, which can lead to some burning and irritation during sex, urination, or just spontaneously.
Symptoms accompanying the burning urination
Depending on the underlying cause of your dysuria, you may experience certain symptoms. The following are some symptoms that may accompany burning during urination.
- Hematuria (Blood in the urine)
- Urgency to urinate
- Vesical tenesmus – sensation of incomplete emptying of the bladder after passing urine
- Urinary incontinence – involuntary expulsion of urine
- Frequent urination
- Post-micturition dribble – passage of small quantities of urine after urinating
- Difficulty urinating – such as straining or hesitancy
- Discharge urine abnormalities – cloudy urine, foamy urine, strong-smelling urine
- Hematospermia in men (blood in the semen)
- Pelvic and lower abdominal pain
Home remedies to treat burning urination
While it is always a good idea to seek the aid of a medical professional when dealing with a potential urinary tract infection, other causes that may lead to a burning urine sensation may be treated with some home remedies. The following are some you can try yourself.
Stay hydrated: By drinking adequate amounts of water, you can ensure that your kidneys are passing enough urine to get rid of any foreign invaders that may have attached to your urinary tract. Dehydration is also a common cause of burning during urination. It is recommended to drink two to three glasses of water in very short intervals.
Drink cranberry juice: This is a common remedy to help cure minor UTI symptoms. It is thought that the citric acid that cranberries contain help to kill UTI-causing bacteria.
Coconut water: A great cure for dehydration and burning urine. Coconut water contains many important electrolytes that are great for keeping your body fluids in balance.
Use protection during sexual intercourse: One the most common ways for contracting a urinary tract infection is through sexual intercourse, especially for women. By using condoms, you can help mitigate this risk to some degree.
Urinate when you must: It is a good idea to not hold in urine, as it may help bacteria propagate
Blueberries: Rich in antioxidants that help eliminate bacteria and heal infections.
Horseradish: Acts as a potent antibacterial that aids in killing bacterial cells by damaging their cell walls. Eating this vegetable three times per day with some water or milk will help keep your burning urination to a minimum.
Related: Frequent urination: Causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment tips