Dysuria refers to painful or difficult[clarification needed] urination.[1][2]

SpecialtyUrology, Infectious disease

It is one of a constellation of irritative bladder symptoms (also sometimes referred to as lower urinary tract symptoms), which includes nocturia and urinary frequency.


The clinician should also look for physical findings of fever, rash, direct tenderness over the bladder area, and joint pain. Physical findings of increased temperature, increased pulse, low blood pressure in the presence of dysuria can indicate systemic infection. Urological obstruction due to stone or tumor can result in findings of hematuria, decreased urination, and bladder spasms. All these physical findings should be looked for carefully while obtaining history. History regarding recent sexual activity is crucial.[3]

Urinalysis is the most useful test to start the work up in a patient of dysuria. Urinalysis positive for nitrite carries a high predictive value of a positive urine culture. Also, urine dipstick showing leukocytes as equal predictive value as the presence of nitrites. When both are present, the predictive value goes even higher. If the patient only has leukocyte esterase or bacteria in the urine, then dysuria may suggest that the patient probably has urethritis.[3]

Differential diagnosisEdit

This is typically described to be a burning or stinging sensation. It is most often a result of a urinary tract infection. It may also be due to an STD, bladder stones, bladder tumors, and virtually any condition of the prostate. It can also occur as a side effect of anticholinergic medication used for Parkinson's disease.[citation needed]

Drugs and irritantsEdit

  • Chemical irritants, e.g., soaps, tampons, toilet papers
  • Drugs, e.g., Cyclophosphamide, Ketamine[3]
  • Capsaicin consumption, e.g., habanero peppers


Urinary tractEdit

One of the most common causes of dysuria is urinary tract infection. Urinary tract infections are more common in females than males due to female anatomy, having a shorter and straight urethra compared to males who have a longer and curved urethra due to male anatomy. In females, bacteria can reach the bladder more easily due to shorter and straight urethra as they have less distance to travel. Because of these reasons, females tend to experience dysuria more frequently compared to males. Also, most urinary tract infections are uncomplicated.[3]



  1. ^ Dysuria at the US National Library of Medicine Medical Subject Headings (MeSH)
  2. ^ Mark B. Mengel; L. Peter Schwiebert (2005). Family medicine: ambulatory care & prevention. McGraw-Hill Professional. pp. 121–. ISBN 978-0-07-142322-9. Retrieved 23 June 2011.
  3. ^ a b c d Mehta P, Reddivari A (2020). "Dysuria". Statpearls. PMID 31751108.  Text was copied from this source, which is available under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

External linksEdit