Why does it burn when I pee? Conditions that cause painful urination

Reviewed by Amy O. FNP-BC, IBCLC

Time saver 3 min read

There’s no way around it. Everyone pees. And if you’re experiencing discomfort or a burning sensation while urinating, you’re probably a bit worried and wondering what the heck is going on. Do you have a UTI? Could a sexually transmitted infection or disease (STI / STD) be behind that burn? 

We know that symptoms like painful urination – or dysuria – can be uncomfortable and concerning. But burning while peeing is a symptom of several common – and easy-to-treat—conditions. Let’s take a look at some of the conditions that could be causing this symptom. 

Where is your pain coming from?

Dysuria is the medical term that’s used to describe discomfort, pain or a burning sensation while urinating. To figure out what may be causing your dysuria, it’s important to pinpoint where the pain or burning sensation is located. Does the discomfort and burning feeling you’re experiencing seem to be internal – radiating from your pelvic region, bladder or vagina? Or is the pain external and more localized to your genitals and pubic area? 

Distinguishing where pain is originating can provide important clues as to whether you may have a condition like a UTI or if you could be having a reaction to something like a scented body wash or new sexual partner.

Common causes of painful urination or dysuria

If you’ve ruled out that an allergic reaction or general irritation could be behind your pain, there are several common medical conditions that could be the source.

Urinary tract infection (UTI) or bladder infection

A frequent urge to go and deep burning sensation while peeing are common UTI symptoms. Additionally, if you have a bladder infection, you may experience an uncomfortable feeling in your lower abdomen and your urine may look cloudy. 

While a UTI can be painful and majorly disrupt your life, the good news is that it’s fairly easy to treat. You can take over-the-counter medications like acetaminophen and ibuprofen for pain and prescription antibiotics should clear up a bacterial infection. You can even treat a UTI online – no in-person appointment or urine sample needed. 

Yeast infection

Vaginal itching and inflammation are hallmark symptoms of a yeast infection. Additionally, some women also experience symptoms like external burning while peeing and notice thick curd-like discharge. Yeast infections can be spurred by things like hormone changes around your period, that new scented bubble bath you used or even if you spend the day in a wet swimsuit. Basically anything that disrupts the balance of bacteria that live in your vagina and vulva can cause yeast to multiply and grow.

While you can treat a yeast infection with over-the-counter medications, these treatments are messy and must typically be used for several days. Looking for a faster and more convenient way to treat a yeast infection? Get a prescription for one-pill yeast infection treatment online.


If you’re sexually active, and you’ve ruled out common causes of painful urination like a UTI or yeast infection, the source of your burning could be a sexually transmitted infection. Burning while peeing is a symptom of several common sexually transmitted infections including chlamydia, gonorrhea, trichomoniasis and genital herpes.

The only way to know if you have a STI is to get tested. Today, it’s easy to test for common STIs and you can even order an at-home test and do it from the comfort and privacy of your own home. If you’re diagnosed with a STI, you may also be able to get STI treatment online – including prescription medications.

Get treatment online today  

If you’re experiencing burning or pain while peeing, it’s important to get to the bottom of what’s behind your symptoms. Often women experience these types of symptoms when they have common conditions like a UTI, yeast infection or STI and, thankfully, these conditions are relatively easy to diagnose and treat online. 

It’s always important to tune in and listen to your body. If your symptoms get worse or are accompanied by other worrisome symptomslike progressing pelvic and abdominal pain or pain in your back on one side – it’s a good idea to be seen by an in-person healthcare provider. 

Share this post

Do you know someone who could use a simple & affordable healthcare option?