Painful urination (dysuria)

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If you’re experiencing pain while you urinate, a condition called dysuria, it could be due to one of several factors. Painful urination can be a sign of a serious health condition that requires medical attention.

For women, painful urination is a common symptom of a urinary tract infection, including a bladder infection. The proximity of a woman’s urethra to the vaginal opening and anus make it more susceptible to bacterial infection.

While a UTI is the most common reason for painful urination in women, it’s not the only one.

Whether in men or women, a UTI needs medical treatment. Women often can be evaluated via telehealth such as Norton eCare. Men with a possible UTI will need to have a urine sample tested in a visit to a medical provider’s office.

Norton Now includes same-day care options so you can get the care you need, when you need it and where you need it. Norton Community Medical Associates primary care offices are located across the Louisville and Southern Indiana area. Save your spot in line at a Norton Immediate Care Center or visit a Norton Prompt Care clinic for treatment of minor injuries or illnesses.

Use Norton eCare video visits or just answer a few questions online from anywhere in Kentucky or Indiana for care without coming into the office. Your provider can order drive-thru lab testing for you at Norton Healthcare Express Services if it’s needed.

When to Get Medical Attention for Painful Urination

  • Your pain is constant or has been going on for several days.
  • You’re pregnant.
  • You have painful urination and a fever.
  • You experience cloudy urine, a different smell or blood in your urine.
  • Your pain is accompanied by abdominal pain.
  • You pass kidney or bladder stones.

Causes of Painful Urination in Women

  • Vaginal infection, including a yeast infection or bacterial vaginosis
  • Sexually transmitted infection, including genital herpes or chlamydia (can also cause imitation to the urethra, making urination painful)
  • Interstitial cystitis or painful bladder syndrome that can easily be mistaken for a urinary tract infection
    • Interstitial cystitis is a feeling of discomfort and pressure that lasts for six weeks without an infection. Urinary urgency is another sign of interstitial cystitis.
    • Women may feel pain during or after sexual intercourse.
  • Bladder stones or kidney stones
  • Menopause-related changes in hormone levels
  • Allergic reactions and irritations from soaps and spermicides
  • Postmenopausal atrophic vaginitis, a thinning of the vaginal wall can cause discomfort during urination

Common Causes for Painful Urination in Men

Painful urination in men is less likely to be caused by a urinary tract infection. A longer urethra makes it less likely that bacteria will cause an infection.

  • Sexually transmitted infection such as chlamydia or gonorrhea
  • Prostatitis
    • This prostate infection is not contagious and can be treated successfully with antibiotics. In addition to pain when urinating, symptoms include frequent urination, burning or stinging while urinating, fever and chills. Lab tests on a semen and urine sample can diagnose prostatitis.
  • Urethral stricture, a narrowing of the urethra from inflammation or scarring
    •  A weak urine stream or constant sensation of needing to urinate are additional symptoms.
  • Interstitial cystitis
    •  While less common in men, this condition has similar symptoms including bladder pain or discomfort that lasts more than six weeks without infection or other notable cause.

Norton Now: Care When You Need It

  • Get medical care when and where it works for you.
    • Norton Community Medical Associates primary care is your medical home. More than 35 locations across the Louisville area and Southern Indiana means there’s an office close to home, work or school. Your primary care physician knows you and your health and performs annual checkups to stay ahead of any emerging conditions. Our doctors and nurse practitioners connect you to the full Norton Healthcare system, giving you and your family easy access to the area’s leading specialty physicians.
    • More than 15 Norton Immediate Care Centers offer treatment for minor illnesses and injuries. Reserve your spot in line and we’ll text you when it’s time to check in. All Norton Immediate Care Centers are equipped with X-ray machines.
    • Norton Prompt Care clinics have same-day appointments available when you need care for yourself or your family. All locations offer extended weekday and weekend hours. Many are located within Walgreens stores.
    • Norton eCare allows you to visit with a provider via secure video or by simply answering questions online about your symptoms.
    • Emergency care is available for a very serious illness or injury that puts your life in danger. Get treatment 24/7 at nine locations in Louisville and Southern Indiana, including three locations for kids.
  • Medicaid, Medicare and most major commercial insurance plans are accepted.
  • Get test results, renew prescriptions, communicate with your health care provider, get notified if an earlier appointment becomes available and more with your free Norton MyChart account.

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