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The Most Common Causes of Painful Urination in Men

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Our bodies have many ways to let us know that something is wrong, from fevers and chills to aches and pains. Even the waste we excrete provides information about whether our digestive tracks are functioning at their optimal levels. Painful or burning urination are typical signs that something in the urinary track is not functioning properly. The most common causes of painful urination in men are:

Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

This common infection is caused by an excess buildup of bacteria along the urinary tract. While women are 50% more likely to experience a UTI than men, they can still experience this condition. The most common symptoms of a urinary tract infection include a strong, frequent urge to use the bathroom and a burning or painful sensation when urinating. Fortunately, this infection can typically be cured within 2 to 3 days with the proper treatment.

Prostate Infection

A prostate infection is also called acute prostatitis and has symptoms similar to a UTI. Approximately 50% of men will experience a prostate infection in their lifetime and it is commonly caused by the same type of bacteria that causes as UTI or by sexually transmitted infections. Treatment with antibiotics usually provides relief and cure.

Sexually Transmitted Infection (STIs)

STIs commonly affect the urinary tract, with the most common symptoms being pain or burning when urinating. The most common STIs that cause this burning are: gonorrhea, genital herpes and chlamydia. Treatments and outcomes vary depending on the specific sexually transmitted disease that is causing the infection. In addition to seeking medical care, the best course of action is to practice safe sex and get tested every 6 months to prevent further transmission.

Kidney Stones

Kidney stones are created from calcified deposits of natural material and often form when urine becomes concentrated. These stones can lodge themselves near the ureters, which is where the urine enters the bladder. When this occurs, the flow of urine is partially blocked. Symptoms of kidney stones include pain during urination, cloudy or foul-smelling urine, nausea and vomiting, and a persistent urge to urinate. Pain caused by kidney stones may come in waves or fluctuate in intensity. There are a variety of treatments for kidney stones and is dependent on their size.

Bladder Cancer

Bladder cancer occurs when abnormal cells develop in the bladder. If left undiagnosed and untreated, these cells can significantly damage tissue or organs and spread to other parts of the body. Symptoms of this cancer include frequent urination, painful urination, blood in the urine, pelvic pain and back pain. The symptom of painful urination often appears in the later stages of balder cancer so if you are experiencing any of the other symptoms you should contact your physician immediately.

Chemical Sensitivity

Sometimes direct exposure to certain chemicals meant for exterior use, such as soaps, lotions and cologne fragrances, can irritate the sensitive tissues of the bladder and cause a burning sensation when urination. Relieve these symptoms by washing the chemicals off of your body and avoiding further use and contact.


Some medications have side effects, including pain when urinating, increased frequency of urination and blood in the urine. Specifically, medications used to treat bladder cancer can irritate and inflame the bladder and urinary tract. If symptoms begin after you have recently begun taking a new medication, contact your doctor immediately.

Experiencing a burning sensation when urinating and having the urge to urinate frequently are common symptoms of nearly every cause of urinary tract pain listed above. For this reason, it is critical that you speak with a urologist as soon as possible so that the condition can be properly diagnosed and treated. At Kasraeian Urology, we continue to see and treat patients through the use of televisits so that you do not have to wait to receive needed care. To schedule a televisit, please email us at [email protected] and we will respond as soon as possible with available appointment times.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.