What is Dysuria?
Dysuria refers to a mild or moderate burning sensation felt when urinating. It’s most often triggered by an infection such as a urinary tract infection (UTI) or a sexually transmitted disease (STD) and tends to affect women more than men. Anyone, regardless of age, can experience it. Dysuria may also be indicative of a more severe underlying medical condition like immunodeficiency disorder or diabetes (x).
Symptoms generally subside after the underlying infection is treated. If an STD is the cause of dysuria, it’s essential for both partners to be treated for the disease to prevent reoccurrence.
There are many effective natural remedies to ease the burning, pain, itching and overall discomfort of dysuria, as well as help strengthen the immune system, clear up the infection and quicken healing.
Symptoms of Dysuria
The first sign of dysuria is a mild or moderate burning sensation, itching, stinging or pain before, during or after urination (x). People who experience dysuria when urinating often have a UTI, while discomfort after urination may indicate bladder or prostate problems (x).
Cystitis (Lower Urinary Tract Infection)
Cystitis or a lower urinary tract infection is a symptom of dysuria and involves a severe urge to urinate repeatedly, loss of control of the bladder, pain in the front lower part of the abdomen (next to the bladder), bloody urine and cloudy urine that might have a strong odor.
Pyelonephritis (Upper Urinary Tract Infection)
Pain, itching or soreness in the vagina, foul-smelling or abnormal discharge from the vagina, discomfort or pain during sex (x).
Redness around the urethral opening, urethral discharge, vaginal discharge and frequent urination. Often, partners of individuals with urethritis resulting from an STD generally don’t show symptoms.
If you suffer from any of these symptoms for more than one day, consult your doctor immediately (x).
Causes of Dysuria
Urinary Tract Infections
One common cause of dysuria is inflammation in the urinary tract or a lower urinary tract infection. Infection occurs when bacteria reach the bladder through the urethra. Women between the ages of 20 and 50 are at a higher risk of experiencing cystitis (bladder infection) and thus, dysuria (x).
Painful urination can also be caused by kidney infections or upper urinary tract infections. The kidneys become infected when bacteria move from the bladder to the kidney. People with diabetes, pregnant women, men with enlarged prostates, and people who’ve had kidney stones are more susceptible to upper urinary tract infections (x).
Vaginal Inflammation (Vaginitis)
Vaginal inflammation, or vaginitis, can also cause dysuria. Vaginitis can occur due to an allergy to chemicals (like soap, bubble bath, or spermicides), low estrogen levels, bacterial vaginosis, yeast infections, or trichomoniasis (x).
Urethral Inflammation (Urethritis)
Urethral inflammation, or urethritis, may also cause dysuria. Causes usually include sexually transmitted diseases, including chlamydia and gonorrhea, an injury or a reaction to harsh chemicals used in contraceptive jellies, spermicides or foams (x).
Causes of painful urination may also vary by gender. Often, women experience painful urination with (x):
- Sexual intercourse
- Genital herpes
- Dietary factors
- Atrophic vaginitis in menopause
- Irritation of the vaginal tissue
Men can experience burning during urination if they have an infected or inflamed prostate (prostate disease) or cancer (x). Men over the age of 50 are more susceptible to bladder infections caused by prostate problems (x).
Other causes of dysuria for both genders may include (x):
- Bladder spasms
- Interstitial cystitis
- Prostate infection
- Bladder damage due to radiotherapy
- Sexually transmitted diseases
- Behcet’s disease
- Stevens-Johnson syndrome
Causes of Dysuria in Children
The leading cause of dysuria in children is urethral irritation from chemicals found in some soaps, bubble bath chemicals and skin lotions.
Other causes of dysuria in children may include (x):
- Labial adhesions
- Viral bladder infection
- Bacterial bladder infection
- Minor trauma due to activities
- Cloudy, bloody or smelly urine
- Discharge from vagina or penis
- Inability to urinate
- Rash or redness in the genital area
- Painful urination that lasts for more than 72 hours
- Localized trauma due to sexual abuse may also cause dysuria
Treatment for Dysuria
Treatment options for dysuria depend on the root cause. Treatments may include:
- Antifungal medicines for yeast infections in the vagina
- Uristat, a painkiller for pain associated with a UTI (x)
- Oral antibiotics for bacterial infections or sexually transmitted diseases
Antibiotic Treatment for Prostatitis
Acute bacterial prostatitis can be treated with a 12-week treatment of antibiotics (x). Other potential therapies for prostatitis include non-prescription anti-inflammatory drugs, hot baths, prostatic massage and medications known as alpha blockers, which relax muscles surrounding the prostate.
Avoid Chemical Products
Avoid the use of harsh chemical products, including soaps that might potentially irritate the genitals.
Over the Counter Medications
At-home treatment for dysuria often includes using over the counter anti-inflammatory drugs, including ibuprofen.
Drink Plenty of Fluids
Drink plenty of fluids to dilute the urine and reduce the pain when urinating.
Home Remedies for Dysuria
Certain home remedies may help prevent and alleviate the burning sensation and pain associated with cystitis and dysuria. Remedies include:
Drink plenty of water to help flush the toxins and infection-causing bacteria out of the body and prevent dehydration.
Warm compresses may help soothe the pain caused during urination. The heat will relieve pain as well as ease the strain on your bladder. Apply warm compresses or heat pads for five minutes on your lower abdomen and repeat after waiting for a while.
Baking soda is an excellent remedy for treating dysuria. It helps reduce the acidity in the urine and relieves the burning sensation due to the urine’s alkaline properties. It also helps balance the body’s PH levels. Mix one tablespoon of baking soda in a glass of water and drink on an empty stomach daily for at least a week.
Plain and unsweetened yogurt is loaded with active cultures that may be useful for curing painful urination. Yogurt is a probiotic that helps good bacteria grow and hinders the growth of harmful bacteria. In addition to inhibiting various kinds of diseases, it also helps regulate the pH level of female genitals. Eat two to three cups of plain yogurt daily.
Buttermilk is an excellent source of probiotics as it contains good bacteria that can help inhibit dysuria-causing diseases within the urinary tract. Buttermilk also helps in boosting your immunity as it contains numerous nutrients. To treat painful urination, drink buttermilk daily.
Some symptoms of dysuria can also be relieved with lemon. Although it’s acidic, lemon provides your body with alkaline properties. Moreover, it helps prevent urination problems due to its citric acid content and strong antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. Mix the juice of one lemon and one teaspoon of pure honey in a glass of warm water and drink on an empty stomach every morning.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar contains antibacterial and antifungal properties that help inhibit dysuria-causing infections. Additionally, it helps restore the body’s natural pH level and is an excellent source of many beneficial minerals, including potassium.
For effective results, mix one tablespoon of pure apple cider vinegar with a tablespoon of pure honey in a glass of water and drink twice a day. Add one or two cups of pure apple cider vinegar to warm bath water and soak in it for 15-20 minutes once or twice daily to gradually improve your condition.
Supplements for Dysuria
Some supplements can help treat or relieve symptoms of dysuria. These include the following:
Pure Cranberry Extract Powder
Pure cranberry extract powder contains many antioxidants and beneficial phytonutrients and is used to support and maintain optimal bladder health. The recommended dosage of the powder is 400 milligrams, 1-3 times per day, with plenty of water.
Pure D-Mannose Powder
Pure D-mannose powder is a glycol-nutrient sugar that is believed to support general urinary tract health. Take 2,000 milligrams of D-Mannose powder per day with water, or as instructed by your physician.
Vitamin C is a vital vitamin that is known for its many health benefits. The recommended dosage for vitamin C is 1,000 milligrams daily.
Research has shown that garlic may help treat or fend off bacteria that are responsible for recurring kidney infections and UTIs (x). It’s also effective against the growth of E. coli in the urinary tract (x). The recommended dosage of garlic extract is 650 milligrams of garlic extract, twice daily, along with food.
The Bottom Line
Dysuria refers to discomfort or pain during urination, including a mild or moderate burning sensation, itching, stinging or pain. It is usually common in women and caused by a urinary tract infection or a sexually transmitted disease, as well as cystitis, pyelonephritis (upper urinary tract infection), vaginitis and urethritis. Men can also suffer from the condition due to prostate disease, other forms of cancer and urinary tract infections.
Symptoms of dysuria may vary by gender, but both men and women typically experience a burning, itching or stinging feeling. The pain may be experienced before, during or after urination, each of which may refer to a different cause.
Dysuria treatment is based on the underlying cause of the pain when urinating, but range from over the counter medications, anti-fungal medications and antibiotics to home remedies such as warm compresses, baking soda baths or drinks, plain, unsweetened yogurt, buttermilk, lemon and apple cider vinegar. Supplemental treatments include pure cranberry extract powder, pure D-mannose powder, vitamin C and garlic extract.