Painful urination (a burning sensation) is most often due to a urinary tract infection. In the case of a urinary tract infection, there is burning when urinating, a frequent urge to urinate, and reduced urine output. Painful urination is caused by an infection of the bladder or an infection of the urine or of the duct that comes from the bladder; the urethra. This infection is caused by a bacterium (often Escherichia coli) that infects the urinary system. An infection of the vulva (vulvitis) can also be responsible for it: an antiseptic soap and a soothing cream must be used because there is often redness and swelling of the lips.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
Urinary burning is characterised by repeated urges to urinate, and tingling or burning sensations when urinating. Many people consult because of this burning sensation. Many women experience urinary tract infections, called cystitis. There may be additional secretions if the urethra is infected.
In order to prevent urinary tract infections, it is advisable to drink 1.5 to 2 litres of water per day, particularly in summer. Adding a squeezed lemon in one litre of water to drink throughout the day will have an antiseptic effect and enable the return of usual sterile urine.
In the same way, it is necessary to encourage urination by not holding back from urinating. It is also advisable to have proper personal hygiene in order to eliminate the possibility of infection. This is more important for women after having a bowel movement.
Cranberry juice is widely used in Nordic countries as well as in North America to prevent germs from attaching to the bladder wall.
WHEN TO CONSULT
In men, urinary tract infections can be a warning sign of a sexually transmitted infection. A man experiencing burning during urination should consult a doctor.
In women, a burning sensation during urination with the presence of fever can indicate a kidney infection, pyelonephritis, and requires a prompt medical consultation.
In the case of burning during urination, a doctor can verify the urinary infection with a test using a urinary strip called “Labstix”, by testing for the presence of bacteria and white blood cells in the urine.
The doctor may prescribe antibiotics.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Many women prevent themselves from urinating when they are not at home. This is a factor that promotes urinary tract infection. When the infection has set in, they stop drinking so that they don’t have to urinate, as it burns. This makes the problem worse.
Other factors that contribute to burning during urination in women are sexual intercourse and diarrhoea.
To avoid a urinary tract infection, you should drink 1.5 litres of fluid a day and urinate whenever you feel the need for it.
Doctor Yves Assous,