What Does it Mean If it Burns to Urinate?

By Lee Morgan

Pain during urination is known as dysuria by urologists, and there are several potential causes for this symptom. Although there might be no reason for panic if you feel a burning sensation while urinating, it is something to consult a physician about. When you go to the doctor with this pain, be prepared to talk about any other symptoms you might be having as well as any recent sexual activity.


Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are spread to others through any kind of sexual intercourse, including vaginal, anal, oral or even the sharing of sexual devices such as vibrators, according to medical website Medicinenet.com.

Burning sensations during urination is often caused by an infection (urethritis) from bacteria present in gonorrhea or chlamydia. A doctor will prescribe the proper medicines to rid yourself of these diseases, and you should inform anyone you have had sexual contact with immediately if you are diagnosed.

Kidney Stones

A sudden onset of pain and cramping in the lower back, side, groin or abdomen along with the burning urination symptom might indicate kidney stones. Kidney stones are hard mineral deposits in the kidney or urinary tract that must be passed or broken up with medications. Presence in the urinary tract can lead to infection, causing a burning sensation. About one in 20 people have a kidney stone at some point in their lives.

Reactive Arthritis

Reactive arthritis is a chronic form of arthritis that affects the eyes, genitals, digestive and urinary systems. Swelling in these areas is caused by an immune system reaction to bacteria and can cause a burning sensation when urinating because of the inflammation of the urinary tract. The disorder is most common in people in their 30s or 40s, according to Medicinenet.com. Treatment for the condition in men is often topical cortisone creams for penis inflammation.

Urinary Tract Infection

Urinary tract infections are among the most common infections people get, and they account for about 8.3 million doctors visits each year, according to Medicinenet.com. One in five women develop a urinary tract infection during their lifetime, but these infections do not affect men nearly as often. When bacteria, usually E. coli normally found in the colon, find their way into the urinary tract, they can cause infection that results in a burning sensation during urination.


Vaginitis refers to any infection or inflammation of the vagina. Yeast infections are a common source of vaginitis and are among several inflammations that might cause pain during urination.

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