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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Medical Symptoms > Painful Urination
      Category : Health Centers > Urinary System & Kidneys

Painful Urination

Alternate Names : Dysuria

Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

Painful urination is any pain or discomfort that results when a person urinates. This pain can occur by itself or it can be associated with other symptoms.

What is going on in the body?

The urinary tract consists of several parts, each with a different function. The kidneys filter and remove waste products and water from the body and produce urine. Urine travels from the kidneys through two narrow tubes called ureters down to the bladder, where it is stored. When the bladder becomes full, it empties the urine through the urethra to the outside of the body.

Painful urination can range from mild discomfort or a burning sensation in the urinary tract to severe, intense pain. This pain may be acute, when it occurs suddenly, or chronic, when the pain lasts for a long period of time. Painful urination usually results from conditions that may be caused by infection, trauma, or something blocking the urinary tract.

What are the causes and risks of the condition?

There are many possible causes of painful urination. Some of these include:

  • trauma to the urinary tract, such as genital injuries in males and females
  • inflammation to any part of the urinary tract including the bladder, the kidney, or the urethra
  • prostatitis, or inflammation or infection to the prostate gland in men
  • vaginal infection, such a vaginal yeast infection
  • sexually transmitted diseases, including gonorrhea, HIV, and genital herpes
  • chemical irritation to the lining of the genitals and urethra, such as from soaps, bubble bath, or detergents used to wash undergarments
  • conditions or diseases of the kidney, such as polycystic kidney disease or medullary cystic kidney disease
  • sudden rupture of one of the small sacs, or cysts, in the kidney
  • urinary obstruction, such as kidney stones
  • autoimmune disorders, which are conditions in which a person's immune system attacks his or her own body for no apparent reason
  • traumatic sexual experiences, including rape
  • certain antidepressant medications
  • tumors or cancer of any part of the urinary tract


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    Painful Urination: Symptoms & Signs

    Author: Eileen McLaughlin, RN, BSN
    Reviewer: Gail Hendrickson, RN, BS
    Date Reviewed: 07/27/01

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