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First aid

Urination pain - male

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Does this describe your symptoms?

  • Discomfort (pain, burning or stinging) when passing urine
  • May include urgency (can't wait) and frequency (passing small amounts) of urination

General Information

  • All males with painful urination need to be examined and get testing to see if an infection is present.

Common Causes of Painful Urination

  • Urinary Tract Infection: Urinary tract infections (e.g., bladder infection, prostatitis) are the most common cause of painful urination.
  • Sexually Transmitted Disease: Sexually transmitted diseases (e.g., gonorrhea, chlamydia) can also cause painful urination. Most men with this type of infection will describe a clear-white to light yellow discharge from the penis. The two main organisms that can cause this are Gonnorhea and Chlamydia.
  • In younger men, it is more likely that a sexually transmitted disease is causing the pain with urination. In older men, a bladder infection or prostatitis is more likely.

If not, see these topics

When to Call Your Doctor

Call 911 Now (you may need an ambulance) If
  • Very weak (can't stand)
Call Your Doctor Now (night or day) If
  • You feel weak or very sick
  • Unable to urinate (or only a few drops) and your bladder feels very full
  • Severe pain
  • Fever of 100.5° F (38.1° C) or higher
  • Shaking chills
  • Side (flank) or back pain is present
  • Abdominal pain is present
  • Pain or swelling in scrotum
  • Have diabetes mellitus or a weakened immune system (e.g., HIV positive, cancer chemotherapy, chronic steroid treatment, splenectomy)
  • Are bedridden (e.g., nursing home patient, stroke, chronic illness, recovering from surgery)
  • Are a transplant patient (e.g., liver, heart, lung, kidney)
Call Your Doctor Within 24 Hours (between 9 am and 4 pm) If
  • Blood in urine
  • Pus (white, yellow) from end of penis
  • All other men with painful urination
HOME CARE ADVICE FOR PAINFUL URINATION (pending talking with your doctor)

  1. Fluids: Drink extra fluids (Reason: to produce a dilute, non-irritating urine).
  2. Call Your Doctor If:
    • You become worse

And remember, contact your doctor if you develop any of the "Call Your Doctor" symptoms.

Disclaimer: This information is not intended be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.

Author and Senior Reviewer: David A. Thompson, M.D.

Last Reviewed: 1/19/2009

Last Revised: 4/5/2008

Content Set: Adult HouseCalls Online

Portions Copyright 2000-2009 Self Care Decisions LLC; Copyright LMS, Inc.

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