Dysuria (painful urination) causes, symptoms, and treatment

dysuria painful urinationDysuria – also known as painful urination – is a condition that can be an early sign of a urinary tract infection. Dysuria leads to feeling pain, discomfort, or burning while urinating. It’s important you get dysuria checked out as there are numerous different causes for it, so the sooner you see the doctor, the quicker you can start feeling relief.

Dysuria symptoms are more commonly seen in women and are a common occurrence for doctors to treat. For proper treatment, your doctor must still perform all the necessary tests to rule out potential causes for the discomfort and pain.

Dysuria causes and symptoms


Infections are one of the leading causes of painful urination and can occur in any part of the urinary tract. This includes the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and/or urethra. Most often these infections are the result of bacteria and are called urinary tract infections. However, there exist inflammatory conditions that can cause dysuria, such as an allergic reaction or a foreign body in the urinary tract.

The following are some causes of dysuria:

  • Cervicitis
  • Cystitis
  • Prostatitis
  • Urethritis
  • Contact irritant or allergen
  • Foreign bodies in the bladder
  • Parasites
  • Tumors of the bladder or prostate or urethral cancer
  • Sexually transmitted infections: genital herpes, chlamydia, or gonorrhea

The most common way that bacteria enters and infects the urinary system is by travelling up through the urethra. For this reason alone, women have a higher chance of contracting an infection because they have shorter urethras compared to men. Other risk factors for contracting a urinary tract infection include diabetes, advanced age, an enlarged prostate, kidney stones, pregnancy, and having a urinary catheter.

The most common symptom of dysuria is pain when urinating, but an individual with dysuria may also experience burning, stinging, or itching when urinating. Women may also experience pain externally, which can be caused by inflammation or irritants.

Dysuria treatment and prevention

The cause of dysuria will determine the type of treatment, which can involve addressing a urinary tract infection, bladder or prostate problems, or even a sexually transmitted disease. Antibiotics are commonly prescribed to treat bacterial infections. If an irritant is causing the problem, then avoiding the trigger is your best option.

In order to reduce the symptoms associated with dysuria, drinking plenty of water is a good idea along with taking over-the-counter pain medications to treat painful urination.

Some prevention tips for dysuria include drinking plenty of water to continuously flush out the urinary tract, using protection during sexual intercourse, avoiding irritants like fragrant soaps when washing yourself, and minimizing douching.

Because there are numerous causes for dysuria, it may be difficult to completely prevent it, but practicing good hygiene and other healthy habits can significantly reduce your risk.

Dysuria home remedies


If you want to further reduce the pain and symptoms associated with dysuria while speeding up recovery, here are some home remedies you can try:

  • Increase your water intake
  • Apply warm compresses to your lower abdomen
  • Drink diluted apple cider vinegar
  • Drink baking soda in water
  • Consume plain yogurt – you can also dip a tampon in plain yogurt and insert it for a few minutes to relieve burning
  • Drink lemon water
  • Drink coconut water
  • Always wear cotton underwear
  • Women should wipe front to back to avoid moving bacteria around
  • Avoid staying in wet clothes like bathing suits
  • Steer clear of caffeine, spicy food, and carbonated beverages to avoid worsening the symptoms
  • Increase your intake of vitamin C
  • Don’t hold in your urine
  • Avoid excessive alcohol
  • Don’t smoke

By adding these home remedies into your treatment plan, you can obtain greater relief from dysuria.

How Long Does Dysuria Last?

The cause of dysuria will determine its duration. Many patients respond well to treatments, particularly if the cause is an infection, so the duration will be shorter. The key is to get yourself examined the moment you notice changes to your urination so that treatment can be prescribed right away. This way, duration will be shorter.

Author Bio

Emily Lunardo studied medical sociology at York University with a strong focus on the social determinants of health and mental illness. She is a registered Zumba instructor, as well as a Canfit Pro trainer, who teaches fitness classes on a weekly basis. Emily practices healthy habits in her own life as well as helps others with their own personal health goals. Emily joined Bel Marra Health as a health writer in 2013.



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