Painful urination is an abnormal burning or stinging sensation that sometimes occurs while urinating. The painful, stinging irritation felt during urination is usually caused when urine comes in contact with lesions or sores within the urethra or when urine comes in contact with an inflamed glans (tip of the penis). Burning or painful urination can be a sign of an STD and is often one of the first noticeable symptoms that an infection is present.
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Painful urination or a burning feeling when you urinate can be a constant irritation or can occur intermittently when irritants are introduced to the external urethral opening (such as during intercourse or when clothing or other objects come in contact with the area). Burning can begin suddenly or gradually grow in intensity over a period of time. In some cases, the burning sensation goes away on its own, but in cases where the burning is caused by an STD, medication is required to treat the burning.
An internal burning or painful sensation during urination is usually a sign of a bladder or urinary tract infection or an allergic reaction.
The bacterial STDs gonorrhea and chlamydia are both associated with painful urination, and chlamydia often occurs simultaneously with gonorrhea in what is called a co-infection. Both infections can be cured when treated with antibiotics, often in a single dose.
Getting tested for STDs is the only way to be sure of the cause of vaginal burning, irritation or a burning sensation while urinating. Because many STDs don’t show symptoms, an infection could go unnoticed and progress into a more serious condition with long-lasting side effects. Frequent STD testing is the only way for sexually active women to be completely sure of their STD status and prevent untreated infections.
Medically Reviewed by J. Frank Martin JR., MD on Jun 18, 2019
Written by Taysha Silva on Feb 15, 2018