Painful Urination: Causes & Treatment

“When urinating comes with burning, stinging, or another kind of pain or discomfort, it’s a clearly blatant sign that something isn’t right. Painful urination could be a sign of a number of different infections, some of which require treatment” [1]

Putting a Magnifying Glass on Some of the Causes of Painful Urination

Interstitial Cystitis

This is a long-term condition which creates bladder pressure, bladder pain, and in some instances, pelvic pain. Sufferers can even experience pain when their bladder fills up with urine

(which means that passing urine normally gives them relief).Of note, a percentage of sufferers may also feel chronic pain in their pelvis, as well as pain during sexual intercourse. In these cases, booking an online or in-person appointment with a Vulva Pain Specialist, should be the first port of call. Vulva Pain Doctors have the necessary training and experience to be able to provide a correct diagnosis, after which, they will devise a Personalised Treatment Plan. This may incorporate multiple treatments involving both contemporary and cutting-edge solutions in pharmaceuticals, nerve stimulation, and physical therapy [1].

Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)

UTIs are a major driver for painful urination, and women are particularly prone to having them. The infection is due to bacteria making their way into the urethra (the tube which takes urine out of the body into the bladder).This overgrowth renders the urine acidic, hence the burning sensation. The standard treatment for urinary tract infections is antibiotics [1].

Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)

If you experience pain whilst urinating, and a UTI has been ruled out, then more than likely, it’s a sexually transmitted infection (such as gonorrhoea, trichomoniasis, chlamydia, or genital herpes).

Treatment varies according to the precise infection, and treatment is likely to comprise antibiotics or antiviral medication [1].

Kidney Infection

If you find urinating painful, and you are suffering from back pain, and have blood in your urine, then your urinary tract infection may have moved into either, or both of your kidneys, thereby rendering your condition far more serious than a UTI alone. The first line of treatment is generally antibiotics [1].

Vaginal Tears

If you have penetrative sex, and have not had sufficient lubrication, then small abrasions in the vagina tissue can bring about painful urination. The tears should heal naturally [1].

Bacterial Vaginosis

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this condition is classed as the most common vaginal infection in women aged 15 to 44.  It is caused by an imbalance between healthy and unhealthy vaginal bacteria. Treatment involves specific pharmaceuticals [1].


[1]. Klein, S. (2022). “7 Reasons Why It Hurts to Pee—and What To Do About It.” Health.