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What Is Dysuria Or Painful Urination? Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnosis And Treatments

Dysuria is one of the symptoms of urinary disorder characterised by pain, stinging, burning and itching sensation while urinating. Many infectious and non-infectious factors cause dysuria.

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Experts say that most individuals experience dysuria as a symptom once over their lifetime. Though the condition is not life-threatening, untreated dysuria for a prolonged period may increase the severity of the disease and cause complications.

In this article, we will discuss details on dysuria. Take a look.

Causes Of Dysuria

Dysuria is typically experienced when urine comes in direct contact with the irritated or inflamed mucosal lining of the urethra or penis. The symptoms are mainly associated with the contraction of the smooth muscles of the urinary bladder which stimulate the pain receptors of the area during urine flow and cause pain and burning sensation. [1]

Other mechanisms are also involved in causing dysuria such as pelvic discomfort from conditions like bladder pressure, bladder pain, prostatitis (a disease of the prostate) and suprapubic (a tube that helps drain urine out from the bladder).

Some of the causes of dysuria in both men and women may include [2]

  • Prostatic enlargement.
  • Urethral stricture (restriction in the urine flow from the bladder due to scarring that narrows the tubes).
  • Urinary tract infections like gonococcal urethritis (infection by bacteria) or chlamydial infections.
  • Vaginal inflammation especially inflamed labia.
  • Diverticulitis (inflamed and infected small pouches in the digestive tract).
  • Immunosuppression due to pre-existing diseases like sickle cell disease and diabetes.
  • Childhood infection
  • Congenital anomalies or the presence of underlying urinary tract disease from birth.
  • Presence of kidney stones.
  • Prostate cancer.
  • Endometriosis
  • Use of certain soaps, vaginal cleaners, toilet papers and contraceptive sponges.
  • Gonorrhoea due to sexual intercourse with an infected partner.
  • Genital herpes.
  • Vaginitis.
  • Ovarian cysts.
  • Certain medications like oral contraceptives.

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Symptoms Of Dysuria

Dysuria is already a symptom of many conditions especially those related to urinary disorders. Some of its following symptoms may include:

  • Painful urination.
  • Burning, itching and stinging while urinating. [3]
  • Discharge from the penis and vagina.
  • Smelly discharge.
  • Sensations either from the internal or external parts of the vaginal or penile aetiology.
  • Frequent urination.
  • Loss of bladder control.
  • Intense urge to urinate.
  • Pain in the lower of the stomach where the bladder is located.
  • Blood in the urine. [4]
  • Cloudy urine.
  • Strong odour from the urine.
  • Fever or chills,
  • Back pain
  • Nausea, and vomiting
  • Redness on the opening of the urethra or penis.

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Risk Factors Of Dysuria

Both men and women of any age are equally prone to get infected with dysuria. However, people who are at greater risk of dysuria include:

  • People with pre-existing chronic conditions like diabetes. [5]
  • People with immunocompromised conditions such as HIV. [6]
  • Pregnant women.
  • People with childhood or recurrent bladder diseases like a neurogenic bladder.
  • Postmenopausal women. [7]
  • People who have undergone a kidney transplant.
  • People under tools like Indwelling catheter.

Diagnosis Of Dysuria

The first step to diagnosing dysuria is analysing the physical symptoms of the patients. A medical expert may ask for questions like pain location, type of discharge, colour and odour of the urine and sexual activeness. A doctor may also ask questions about pre-existing medical conditions, surgery, any traumatic events, medications and family history of conditions. [8]

Some of the tests which a doctor may ask for is urinalysis, selected lab tests, imaging, Intravenous urography and urine culture. [9]

Treatments Of Dysuria

Some of the treatments for dysuria may include:

  • Antibiotics: If dysuria is caused due to infection of certain kinds.
  • Other medications: It includes medications to treat symptoms like fever, chills and vomiting.
  • Home remedies: Some home remedies like probiotic foods, vitamin C rich foods, cranberry juice, oregano oil and garlic can help treat mild symptoms of dysuria.

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How To Prevent Dysuria

  • Consume enough water and keep yourself hydrated.
  • Avoid using any harsh soaps or cosmetic products in the vaginal or penile area.
  • Maintain proper hygiene of your intimate parts.
  • Avoid having sexual intercourse with multiple partners.
  • Consult a medical expert if mild symptoms like itching, pain and burning sensation do not go away in a few days.
What causes dysuria?

Dysuria or painful urination is caused by many factors such as pre-existing medical conditions like HIV and diabetes, surgery, use of medications such as contraceptive pills, cancer, endometriosis, cysts, genital herpes and many others.

What is the treatment of dysuria?

Dysuria is caused by both infectious and non-infectious factors. When the cause is infectious, antibiotics are mainly used for the treatment. For mild dysuria, home remedies such as oregano oil or garlic can be used. However, it is always good to consult a medical expert if the symptoms persist for many days.

What is the difference between dysuria and UTI?

Dysuria comes under one of the symptoms of urinary tract infections or UTI. The prior mainly includes infections of the urethra or penile area while UTI includes infections of the whole urinary system that includes kidneys, urinary tract and bladder.

What does dysuria feel like?

Dysuria mainly gives a feeling of itching, pain, burning sensation or inflammation in the genital area. It mainly causes discomfort and irritation in the area.