Urination Pain - Female

By David A. Thompson, M.D. 
March 22, 2017

911 warning

Urination Pain - Female

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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

  • Urinary Tract Infection: Urinary tract infections are the most common cause of painful urination.

  • Vaginitis: Women with vaginitis sometimes have mild pain with urination but the main symptom of vaginitis is a new or abnormal discharge from the vagina. Vaginitis is a general term that means "vaginal inflammation." Vaginitis may occur because of chemical irritation (e.g., excessive douching, or excessive use of over the counter yeast medication) or it may have an infectious cause (e.g., trichomonas, yeast).

  • Sexually Transmitted Disease: Sexually transmitted diseases (e.g., gonorrhea, chlamydia, herpes) can also cause painful urination.

If not, see these topics


When to Call Your Doctor

call 911

Call 911 Now (you may need an ambulance) If

  • Very weak (can't stand)

call now

Call Your Doctor Now (night or day) If

  • You feel weak or very sick

  • Severe pain

  • Unable to urinate and your bladder feels very full

  • Fever of 100.5° F (38.1° C) or higher

  • Shaking chills

  • Side (flank) or back pain is present

  • Abdominal pain is present

  • 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 within 24 hours

Call Your Doctor Within 24 Hours (between 9 am and 4 pm) If

  • Blood in urine

  • All other women with painful urination


HOME CARE ADVICE FOR PAINFUL URINATION (pending talking with your doctor)

  1. Fluids: Drink extra fluids. Drink 8-10 glasses of liquids a day (Reason: to produce a dilute, non-irritating urine).

  2. Cranberry Juice:  

    • Some people think that drinking cranberry juice may help in fighting urinary tract infections. However, there has been no good research done proving this.

    • Dosage Cranberry Juice Cocktail: 8 oz (240 ml) twice a day.

    • Dosage 100% Cranberry Juice: 1 oz (30 ml) twice a day.

    • CAUTION: Do not drink more than 16 oz (480 ml) of cranberry juice cocktail per day (Reason: too much cranberry juice can also be irritating to the bladder). Remember, antibiotics are needed to treat a urine infection!

  3. Warm Saline SITZ Baths to Reduce Pain: Sit in a warm saline bath for 20 minutes to cleanse the area and to reduce pain. Add 2 oz. of table salt or baking soda to a tub of water.

  4. Call Your Doctor If:

    • You become worse

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


March 22, 2017