Burning After Urination: Why and What to Do
The medical term for painful or burning urination is dysuria. The burning sensation can occur either during urination or directly afterwards. This condition is more common in women because of the female anatomy. Women have short urethras (the tube that carries urine out of the bladder and out the body) and the close proximity of the urinary tract to the anus and vagina. Some men are more predisposed to urinary infections because of having certain underlying medical conditions.
Why Do I Feel Burning After Urination?
The burning feeling can often be attributed to an infection. Infections can occur in any part of the urinary tract. Often, it begins in one place but rapidly spreads to other structures if the condition is left untreated. Different structures such as urethra, bladder, ureters and kidneys can be involved.Experiencing a burning feeling after urination can be due to the following reasons:
1. Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
This is one of the most common reasons. These urinary tract infections are caused by bacteria that gain access to the urinary tract and connected structures further up in the body through the urethra. Other symptoms that may indicate a lower urinary tract infection that accompany a burning feeling after urination are:
- Abdominal pain or pain during urination
- Urine that is tinged pink or red; may appear cloudy and be stronger-than-normal smelling
- Increased urge to urinate even though the bladder is empty and urinary incontinence
- Back ache and a general sense of feeling sick
- Discomfort around the pelvic region
If the infection has occurred further up the urinary tract, like in the kidneys, symptoms become more generalized, like fever, pain in the back, side or pelvic region that can range from moderate to severe, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. The factors that can predispose you to a urinary infection are:
- Older individuals
- Having diabetes
- Having kidney stones
- Being pregnant
- Men who have an enlarged prostrate gland, which is common in older people
- Having a condition that requires you to have a urinary catheter in place
2. Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI)
Bacteria are also involved which cause the burning after urination. These include genital herpes, chlamydia and gonorrhea. Other associated symptoms of an STI are:
- Unusual vaginal discharge
- Sores on the genitalia
- Itchiness, in addition to the burning feeling
3. Vaginal Infections
Vaginal infections like a yeast infection (thrush) may cause burning sensation, as well as itchiness and redness around the vagina. Other symptoms of a yeast infection are:
- Unusual discharge which can be cottage cheese-like or watery in consistency
- Pain and burning during intercourse and or urination
- Itching and tenderness around the external genitalia
4. Urethral Stricture
This condition commonly affects men. This occurs when the urethra is narrowed due to tissue inflammation or the presences of scar tissue. Urine is then unable to be removed from the body freely. This will cause burning during urination.
5. Other Conditions
Vigorous sexual activity can cause irritation on the urethra. Physical activities like riding a bike or horse may cause friction and irritation to the external genital area. Allergies or sensitivity to soaps, toilet paper, bubble baths, spermicides, tampons and sanitary pads can also cause burning after urination. Skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis can also affect the sensitive skin of the vulvar area. Certain medical treatments or medicines can cause the burning sensation as a side effect, like some gout medications and anti-inflammatories.
When to See a Doctor
There are some circumstances when urination is painful that you have to seek medical attention as soon as possible:
- The presence of unusual discharge from the penis or vagina.
- The burning and pain that does not resolve after treatment.
- You have a fever and pain in the back or the side of the body.
- You experience the intense pain of passing a kidney or bladder stone.
- You see blood in your urine.
How to Treat Burning After Urination
Urinary tract infections are usually treated with antibiotics. You need to consult your medical practitioner for a prescription for the correct antibiotic and also to eliminate any other cause for the burning sensation. Frequent infections will have to be further investigated and treated. If the symptoms are not very severe, you can attempt some home remedies like:
- Drink copious amounts of water to help flush out the infection.
- Urinate whenever the urge strikes. Holding in your urine will not help the symptoms.
- Take alkaline granules as directed on the bottle. Make your own alkaline granules by mixing 1 teaspoon of baking soda to 8 ounces of clean water. Do not exceed for longer than one week.
- Parsley water acts like a diuretic which helps you flush out the infection. Make parsley tea by infusing 1 cup of fresh parsley in 1-2 cups of hot water.
- Eat cucumbers. They are high in water and will help you hydrate.
- Cranberry juice is believed to interfere with the bacterial structure, making it hard for the bacteria to multiply. It is often recommended to people who struggle with recurrent infections.
- Blueberries are rich in antioxidants that can help you eliminate the bacteria and help the infection heal. Like cranberries, it interferes with bacterial structure.
- Horseradish acts as a strong antimicrobial, killing off bacterial cells by damaging the cell walls. Grate about one teaspoon of horseradish. Eat this approximately three times per day with some water or milk.