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Painful Urination (Dysuria)


Burning pain with urination is the most common symptom of a urinary tract problem. As bacteria or viruses grow in the bladder, the bladder wall becomes inflamed, causing pain when the bladder fills and empties.

Burning pain (dysuria) can also occur if the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body (urethra) becomes irritated or infected. The urethra can also be irritated by soaps, perfumes, or foreign bodies in the urethra. Sometimes painful urination is not caused by an infection, and the cause may be hard to find.

Kidney stones can cause pain with urination when they pass through the urethra. Treatment for painful urination depends on the cause.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerWilliam H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerH. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
Last RevisedMarch 10, 2013

eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise

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