Dysuria – 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. Symptoms of dysuria can vary between men and women, but both genders usually experience it as a burning, stinging, or itching feeling. The pain can begin at the start of urination or after urination. Pain at the start of urination is often the symptom of a urinary tract infection. Pain after urination can be an indication of a problem with the bladder or prostate. For many male patients, pain can persist in the penis before and after urination, as well.
A number of conditions can cause painful urination. In men, urethritis and certain prostate conditions are the most frequent causes of dysuria. Some common medical conditions and external causes of dysuria include:
- Bladder stones
- Cystitis (bladder infection)
- Having a recent urinary tract procedure performed, including use of urologic instruments for testing or treatment
- Kidney infection
- Prostatitis (infection or inflammation of the prostate)
- Urethritis (infection of the urethra)
How is Dysuria Diagnosed?
Your doctor will typically be able to diagnose the cause of dysuria by a description of your symptoms and the analysis of a urine sample. This sample will be analyzed for white blood cells, red blood cells, or foreign chemicals. The presence of white blood cells will tell your doctor if you have inflammation in the urinary tract. A urine culture, which takes approximately 2 days for final results, will reveal if there is infection and which bacteria are causing a urinary tract infection.
This also lets your provider know which antibiotics will be effective in treating the bacteria. If there isn’t any sign of infection found in your urine sample, your doctor may suggest additional testing to look at the bladder or prostate. Your doctor will also take a medical history, including questions about any medical conditions you may have.
How is Dysuria Treated?
The underlying 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. Your doctor can tell you more about your treatment options.