Dysuria is a medical term for painful urination or burning sensation during urination which generally occurs due to bacterial infections of the urinary tract. It is commonly seen in women than in men as women have a shorter urethra than men and the bacteria can easily enter and reside in the tract.


Dysuria can be the resultant of a number of causes which includes:

Urinary Tract Infection:

An infection in the urinary tract occurs due to excess build-up of bacteria within the urinary tract.

Also Read: Urinary Tract Infection: Get Treated Before It's Too Late 

Sexually Transmitted Infection:

An STD infection like chlamydia, gonorrhoea, or herpes can infect the urinary tract and cause painful urination.

Kidney Stones:

The kidney stones which are made of calcium or uric acid can sometimes lodge themselves near the urethra or the orifice from where the urine comes out and cause a burning sensation.

Prostate Infection:

Prostatitis or bacterial infection in the prostate gland can spread to the male or female gonads and cause dysuria.

Also Read: Prostatitis – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment  

Interstitial Cystitis:

A chronic irritation in the bladder due to interstitial cystitis can even lead to dysuria as an underlying symptom.

Ovarian Cysts:

Unusual big ovarian cysts can develop pressure on the urinary tract and cause painful urination.

Vaginal Infection:

 An infection in the vagina known as vaginosis occurring due to the ‘Trich’ bacteria or any other bacteria can spread up towards the urethra and cause dysuria.

Bladder Cancer:

Dysuria can be an initial symptom of the growth of cancer cells or tumour in the urinary bladder.

Chemical Sensitivity:

An allergic reaction, due to the presence of certain chemicals or fragrances in the toilet paper, soaps, vaginal washes or body washes can often cause irritation in the genitalia leading to a burning sensation.


Certain medications that are taken for some other diseased condition, can sometimes lead to an allergic reaction and cause dysuria as an underlying symptom.


An accident or local injury or improper placement of the catheter tube can also cause a mild painful sensation.

Structural Malformation:

Urinary obstruction due to an enlarged prostate gland or urethral structure can cause dysuria.

Other causes of dysuria include chronic medical conditions like diabetes, some hormonal repercussions which cause dryness in the genitalia, or any neural conditions that obstruct emptying of bladder ultimately leading or painful urination.


The most common symptoms of dysuria in addition to painful urination include:

  • Frequent urination
  • Loss of bladder control
  • Cloudy urine or blood drops in urine
  • Intense urge to urinate
  • Pain in the bladder or genitalia
  • Difficulty in urination
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fever accompanied by chills
  • Pain in the side or back of the abdomen
  • Pressure in the bladder
  • Painful intercourse
  • Swelling, itching, redness or irritation around the genitalia
  • Weight and appetite loss (in case of bladder cancer)
In women:
  • Excessive vaginal bleeding
  • Painful periods
  • Tender breasts
  • Pelvic pain
In men:
  • Painful ejaculation
  • Pain in the bladder, testicles, or penis
Diagnosis And Treatment

If you have any of the above-given symptoms or noticing pain during urination, it is strictly suggested to consult a doctor right away. The doctor usually does a thorough physical examination and acknowledges the past medical history of the patient to know the exact cause of the condition. The doctor may also perform a series of medical tests to verify the underlying medical cause which includes:

  • Urine Test: To examine and look for the presence of blood
  • Swab test of the vagina or urethra in case of women
  • Additional tests to examine the prostate gland and bladder

The treatment options usually depend upon the causative factor of the condition. The doctor usually prescribes antibiotics and anti-fungal medications to treat the underlying cause and also relieve the pain while urinating. In the case of vaginitis, he may also prescribe for some medicated ointments or creams to provide relief from pain and inflammation of the genitalia and the vaginal tract.


Dysuria can easily be prevented if one takes precautions to prevent the underlying cause.

  • Hydrate your body to flush out toxins or bacteria from the urethra
  • Urinate after sexual activities to get rid of bacteria that might have entered into the genitalia during the activity
  • Use protection to prevent STD’s which in turn prevents dysuria.
  • Women should always clean and keep the genitalia dry. Change sanitary napkins every 4 hours to avoid the build-up of germs. Avoid using perfumed soaps and washes to clean the genitalia.