It hurts when I wee – what could it be?

Pain or discomfort during urination (also known as dysuria) can be caused by many different conditions. A common one you may be familiar with, is urinary tract infection. But what if it isn’t an infection? How do you treat it and when do you need to see the doctor?

The three main culprits

1. Urinary tract infections
A urinary tract infection, or UTI, is a common reason for burning wee. It’s most common in women, but can also occur in men. The infection can be found anywhere along the urinary tract, from the kidneys, all the way down to the urethra (the tube that carries urine out of the body).

So, how do you know you have a UTI? If you do, you may also have some of the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Smelly urine
  • Bloody or cloudy urine
  • Running to the toilet more often to wee
  • Pain in your lower back
  • Pain in your side, above your bladder

2. Sexually transmitted infections
Sometimes, STDs can cause discomfort when you wee. If you have an STD, though, you may have some of these symptoms:

  • Itchy genitals
  • Burning, even when you’re not urinating
  • Blisters or sores
  • White or colored discharge from the genitals

3. Inflammation
Apart from infections, you could simply have inflammation of the urinary tract. This inflammation can be caused by a whole range of problems. Some of them include:

  • Soaps, creams or spermicides
  • Certain activities, like horseback riding or cycling
  • Irritation after sexual activity
  • Kidney stones
  • Menopausal changes in the vagina
  • Side effects from certain medication, supplements or treatment
  • Urinary tract tumour (uncommon)
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So, when should I see a doctor?
If you’re worried, you can chat to one of our doctors online, and they’ll help you figure out what might be wrong. However, if you have any of the following symptoms together with the dysuria, you should see a doctor, to get treated:

  • Fever
  • Weeing frequently
  • Pain in the tummy
  • Back pain
  • Abnormal discharge

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