Doctor's Notes on Symptoms and Signs: Painful Urination (Dysuria)
Painful urination (dysuria) is a symptom that something is irritating the urinary tract; in most instances, it indicates a person has a urinary tract infection. The irritation is described as a burning sensation. Other signs and symptoms that may accompany painful urination include
- a feeling you need to urinate frequently (urinary urgency),
- blood in the urine,
- cloudy urine,
- dark urine, and
- sometimes pain in the lower abdomen.
Although infection of the urinary tract is frequently the cause of dysuria, there are other possible causes. Other causes of painful urination may include trauma to the urinary tract (blunt or stabbing trauma, catheter placement), enlarged prostate, urethral stricture, frequent douching, vaginal dryness, cancers, and medical problems like diabetes and immunosuppression.
What Are the Treatments of Painful Urination (Dysuria)?
There are a number of different causes of dysuria, so an accurate diagnosis by your doctor is important before treatment is begun. Your doctor may need to run diagnostic tests on the urine. The two most common reasons for dysuria are infection-related: urinary tract infections and STIs. Their treatments are focused on in this section:
Urinary tract infections (non-STIs)
- Antibiotics (over 55 listed); choice determined by your doctor
- Antifungal drugs
In general, treatments for STIs are based on the cause of the disease; the following presents the type of drug treatment with an example or two. The list is not all-inclusive and the reader is urged to look up the possible treatments for specific STIs:
- Viral causes: antivirals like acyclovir or antiretrovirals like a HIV combination drug therapy
- Bacterial causes: antibiotics like penicillin or doxycycline
- Fungal causes: antifungals like clotrimazole or miconazole
- Protozoan causes: nitroimidazoles like metronidazole or tinidazole
- Parasite causes: nitroimidazoles like metronidazole or tinidazole or an insecticide like permethrin
This article focused on the most usual treatments for the most usual causes of dysuria; your doctor may find other less frequent causes that need different treatments.
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Dysuria (Painful Urination)Dysuria is the sensation of pain during urination and may be caused by a std or infection of the bladder, kidney, urethra, or prostate. A urinalysis will be performed to determine the bacteria causing the infection. Infections are treated with antibiotics.
EndometriosisEndometriosis is a disease in which abnormal endometrial cells grow outside of the uterus and other organs commonly found in the pelvic area. Some women with endometriosis have no symptoms, but others with the disease may experience pelvic pain, pain during intercourse and during pelvic exams, cramping during sex, bowel movements, or while urinating. The four stages of endometriosis are minimal, mild, moderate, and severe. Medications and surgery are treatments for endometriosis. Endometriosis is a chronic condition and there is no cure.
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.