Is Pain When Urinating a Sign Of An STD?

Young woman having painful stomachache. Menstrual pain.

Pain when urinating, also known as dysuria, is a highly common urinary symptom that affects both males and females. Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) can cause pain when urinating, though many other health conditions can also cause this symptom.

Here’s more about potential causes of pain when urinating, and how you can find reliable STD testing in your area.

How Is Dysuria Defined?

Pain when urinating is defined as any type of discomfort or burning you may feel when passing urine. The pain is usually felt where urine passes out of your body, though it may also be felt in your bladder or prostate, or behind the pubic bone. Pain when urinating may also be accompanied by an urge to urinate more frequently than usual.

What Are the Most Common Causes Of Pain When Urinating?

A urinary tract infection (UTI) is the most common cause of pain when urinating and affects females more often than males. Females are more susceptible to UTIs than males due to anatomical reasons. UTIs can occur when females practice poor vaginal hygiene, take baths instead of showers, and wipe from back to front instead of from front to back after urinating or having a bowel movement.

Dysuria can be caused by both infectious and non-infectious conditions. STDs, UTIs, vaginitis (inflammation of the vagina), and prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate gland) are the most common infectious causes of dysuria. Kidney stones, tumors, menopause, trauma, prostate gland enlargement, and skin conditions are common non-infectious causes of dysuria.

In regards to STDs specifically, chlamydia, gonorrhea, genital herpes, or trichomoniasis can cause pain when urinating.

How Can I Tell If An STD Is Causing Dysuria?

The best way to determine whether an STD is causing pain when urinating is to undergo STD testing for chlamydia, gonorrhea, genital herpes, and trichomoniasis. Each of these STDs requires its own test, as no one test available can detect all these STDs at the same time.

Chlamydia, gonorrhea, and trichomoniasis testing can be performed using urine tests or swab tests that require a small sample of fluids or cells taken from your vagina or urethra. Testing for genital herpes can be performed using a swab test, or a PCR test that looks for DNA from the herpes virus in cells or fluid samples taken from one of your genital sores.

Your doctor or a lab that offers STD testing services can perform STD testing. At-home STD tests are also available, though these tests may be less reliable than those performed by doctors and labs.

See your doctor if you want to rule out other health conditions before getting an STD test. Your doctor can perform an examination, review your medical history, talk to you about your symptoms, and potentially order other diagnostic tests to confirm the root cause of your dysuria.

Where Can I Go To Get Tested For An STD?

STD testing is widely available in the United States, where you can get tested by your primary care physician or at a local lab that offers services, including STD tests. Visit the STD testing Atlanta page or use the STD lab directory courtesy of the CDC to find a local STD provider in your own city.

STD testing is 100 percent confidential, and results are often available on the same day. Getting tested and treated for an STD today can prevent your disease from progressing and leading to more serious complications in the future.


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