Your body eliminates waste through urine. The process starts in your kidneys, which filter excess water and waste products from your blood to make urine. The urine travels through your ureters into your bladder, then exits your body via your urethra when you urinate.
Most of the time, you probably don’t give much thought to your urinary system. But a number of common conditions can make urination painful — and that pain can make you dread visiting the bathroom.
If you feel pain, burning, or discomfort when you urinate, don’t ignore your symptoms. Our team at Advanced Urology specializes in urinary care, and we can help you find a cure at our offices.
Pain while urinating could indicate one of these issues.
1. Urinary tract infection (UTI)
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) happen when bacteria get into your urinary system and multiply. You can get an infection in any part of your urinary system — your kidneys, ureters, bladder, or urethra — and one of the most common symptoms is pain when urinating.
More than 50% of women get at least one UTI in their lifetimes. UTIs are much less common among men, but they can still happen, especially as you get older. Along with painful urination, you may experience bladder pain and a persistent urge to urinate.
Treating a UTI
If you think you might have a UTI, go to the doctor. UTIs don’t go away on their own, and the infection can get worse without professional treatment.
We diagnose UTIs with urinalysis. If you have a UTI, we prescribe antibiotic medication to treat the infection. Antibiotics are usually very effective, and you should start feeling better within a few days.
2. Kidney stones
Kidney stones form when extra waste products, like calcium or phosphorus, build up in your kidneys. This mineral buildup creates small stones, and the stones can travel from your kidneys, through your urinary system, and out your body.
More than 10% of people experience kidney stones in their lifetimes, and they can be intensely painful. The most common symptoms include back pain, abdominal pain, and pain when urinating.
Treating kidney stones
You may not need treatment for small kidney stones. Although they’re painful, most stones usually pass on their own.
If you have larger kidney stones or a stone gets stuck in your urinary tract, you might need treatment. We may recommend extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy to break up large stones, or perform minimally invasive surgery to remove blockages.
3. Interstitial cystitis (painful bladder syndrome)
Interstitial cystitis is a chronic condition that makes your bladder feel full and painful. It develops when the nerves that control the urge to urinate send signals to your brain too often. You might feel the need to urinate more often, even if you only pass small amounts of urine each time.
Symptoms of painful bladder symptoms are similar to those of a UTI, but the difference is that you don’t have an infection. You might feel pain in or near your bladder, along with pain while your bladder fills or while you empty it. Pain may disappear for a short time immediately after urinating.
Treating painful bladder syndrome
Painful bladder syndrome is complex, and there’s no one-size-fits-all treatment. Depending on your symptoms, we may recommend physical therapy, medication to reduce pain, or nerve stimulation to improve communication between your bladder and brain.
Pain when urinating isn’t normal, and you don’t have to suffer in silence. Book an appointment at Advanced Urology online or call our offices in Culver City, Los Angeles, Redondo Beach, or San Pedro, California, to find help.