The causes of pain on urination can range from mild situations that will often right themselves to much more serious conditions.  Patients who are unsure as to the cause of their condition should seek help from a medical professional in order to be sure that there is not a serious underlying issue.  While many of the conditions that cause pain on urination require medical treatment, the vast majority can be resolved by a qualified physician if the patient follows directions, takes medications to completion, and sticks to all follow-up regimens that are being suggested.  Patients should seek emergency medical help if very high fevers, blood in the urine, and extreme flank pain are present.


Infections of the urinary tract can occur in patients of both sexes although bladder infections are more common in females.  Infections should be treated with antibiotics that target the organisms most commonly associated with these types of infections.  Infections of the kidneys are for more serious than bladder infections, but both need medical attention in order to be resolved.  Bladder infections will often cause bladder spasms and pain in the lower abdomen upon urination.  Kidney infections can cause that type of pain as the bladder becomes irritated due to the infected urine produced from the ailing kidney and can also produce flank pain or back pain that can be excruciating, especially if an infection is severe.  Kidney infections can be so serious that hospitalization is necessary.  In that case, patients require intravenous antibiotics and fluids and even painkillers in order to get well and be comfortable.

Genital Irritation

Irritation caused by soaps, laundry detergents, lubricating gels or creams, feminine hygiene products that are not hypo-allergenic, clothing that has rough seams or other agents can cause raw or sore areas on the genitalia near the urethral opening.  This can result in burning and pain on urination.  Often times this will resolve by simply not using the irritating agent and giving the area a chance to rest with some exposure to air, as the area is often covered an can be damp which can add to irritation.  Sometimes a patient will have such a serious irritation that a prescription cream or ointment will be necessary to alleviate the soreness and heal the area.  A barrier cream may be needed in order to stop urine from irritating the area; this can be discussed with a pharmacist or one’s physician.


Not the things in the driveway, but large crystals made up of minerals that are found in urine can block ureters, tubules, openings in the bladder and even get stuck in the urethra.  This can be an excruciatingly painful issue that requires medical intervention.  Pain medication, antibiotics to stop secondary infections from setting in, surgery, and a treatment known as lithotripsy which uses shockwaves to break up stones may all be necessary. Often, a patient will use pain medications while the stones make their way through the urinary tract and pass out of the body.  Many patients describe these stones as among the most painful things they have experienced.  It is by far safer, and the patient will be more comfortable, if medical supervision is sought.


Patients are often surprised to learn that the medication they are taking for issues unrelated to the urinary tract can cause pain on urination.  Among the most common of these medications would be opiate pain killers which often cause urinary hesitation, decreased fluid intake due to drowsiness and other issues that can lead to painful urination.  Furthermore, some medications that are stimulant in nature can cause this type of pain; central nervous system stimulants can act to irritate the nerves that control the bladder and urethra and this can cause pain when urinating.  Manymedications ,ist urinary tract disturbances as a possible side effect.  This should not be overlooked when a patient presents to a physician with pain on urination and no other physical or infectious cause can be determined.


It should be obvious that cancer of the bladder or kidneys is a serious condition capable of causing pain on urination.  These conditions require immediate medical intervention.  Treatments for these conditions may also cause temporary increases in pain, but these treatments are often lifesaving and are entirely necessary. Less obvious to most people is the fact that there are several other cancers that can cause pain on urination.  Prostate cancer which can cause an enlarge prostate to put pressure on the bladder or the urethra or both is another cause of pain on urination.  Men often experience a variety of urinary changes when the prostate becomes enlarged and should always seek medical attention to be sure that there is no cancerous condition involved. Kidney tumors, vaginal or cervical cancer, or penile cancer are all also capable of causing pain on urination.  Cancer treatment, both chemotherapy and radiation, can cause patients to have pain on urination as well.  This is due to the fact that these treatments target multiplying cells without distinguishing between healthy cells and cancer cells.  This means that while killing off the cancer, cells that line the bladder may also be killed off.  The result is bladder irritation and urinary discomfort. 

Minor skin irritation aside, most of the conditions that cause painful urination need to be addressed by a physician.  A urologist, a gynecologist, or even an oncologist may need to be consulted.  Patients should seek emergency care for high fevers, bad flank pain, confusion, or large amounts of blood in the urine as these could indicate a severe kidney infection that may require hospitalization.  Ignoring painful urination that is associated with a serious condition could result in permanent kidney damage or kidney failure, sepsis which is a systemic infection, shock, or metastatic cancers.  Because of the serious nature of the possible ramifications of ignoring pain on urination it is essential that patients seek medical treatment as soon as possible so that appropriate treatment can be administered by a qualified physician.