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Symptoms and Signs of Symptoms and Signs: Painful Urination (Dysuria)

Doctor's Notes on Symptoms and Signs: Painful Urination (Dysuria)

Painful urination (dysuria) is a sign and 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. If infected with a sexually transmitted disease (STDs), women can have a vaginal discharge and men can have a penile discharge.

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.

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 3/11/2019


Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.