Most people urinate 8 or 10 times a day without even thinking about it. But if you develop painful urination (dysuria), you’ll be reminded frequently of exactly how often you’re voiding. Painful urination—bladder discomfort or burning and stinging while urinating—can make life miserable until you see a doctor for an accurate diagnosis and start treatment. Fortunately, your treatment plan should provide painful urination relief quickly through prescription medications and various home remedies. What Causes Painful Urination? In some cases, treating the underlying cause of painful urination can bring quick relief. The most common source of urinary pain is a urinary tract infection (UTI). Infection or inflammation of any part of the urinary tract can cause mild to severe discomfort when voiding. Most UTIs occur in the urethra, which is the tube that carries urine out of the body from the bladder, but UTIs can also occur in the kidneys, the ureters (tubes that transport urine from the kidneys to the bladder), or the bladder itself. Other medical conditions also can cause painful urination. That’s why it’s so important to see a doctor for an accurate diagnosis. Kidney stones, bladder cancer, an inflamed prostate gland, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and various gynecological conditions all can make it hurt to pee. Be sure to seek medical attention for painful urination that lasts more than 1 or 2 days. Painful Urination Medication and Relief Doctors can treat many cases of painful urination with medication. The choice of medication will depend on what is causing your symptoms. Once you receive an accurate diagnosis, you might receive a prescription for: Antimicrobial drugs including antibiotics or antifungal medication, if any sort of infection (including UTI, STI, vaginitis or prostatitis) is causing your symptoms Estrogen cream for pelvic pain due to atrophic vaginitis in postmenopausal women Pain relievers (analgesics) if your pain cannot be managed with over-the-counter analgesics Phenazopyridine, an oral anesthetic medication that numbs the bladder to reduce pain; it is also available without a prescription Tamulosin or other drugs called alpha-receptor blockers to facilitate the passage of small urinary stones Other Painful Urination Treatments and Prevention Strategies In addition to medications, your treatment plan for dysuria may include lifestyle changes or surgery, depending on what is causing your symptoms. Lifestyle Changes To achieve relief from painful urination symptoms, help cure infections, and prevent future episodes of dysuria, your doctor may recommend you adopt certain lifestyle habits, including: Avoiding the use of douches, spermicides, diaphragms, feminine deodorant sprays, or genital powders, all of which can trigger dysuria in women Drinking more water to flush bacteria from your urinary system regularly and to prevent kidney stones Practicing safe sex by using a condom, knowing your partner’s sexual history, and limiting your number of sexual partners Quitting smoking, which can reduce your risk for all types of urinary cancers Voiding the bladder after sexual activity (women) Wiping from front to back after a bowel movement, which helps prevent the transfer of intestinal bacteria to the urethra in women What about cranberry juice or cranberry supplements? Some research showed that consuming cranberry helped prevent UTIs, while other studies found it had no effect at all. In general, cranberry is considered safe for most people to consume, but consult your doctor for guidance about whether or not you should try it for dysuria. Cranberry or products that claim to be a remedy for painful urination should not be a substitute for a professional medical diagnosis. Surgical Procedures In some cases, treating dysuria requires some type of noninvasive or minimally invasive surgical procedure, such as: Biopsy to rule out cancer or determine a type of cancer in the urethra, bladder, prostate gland, or kidneys Cystoscopy to remove tumors from the urethra or bladder Endoscopy of the ureters to remove stones that have become lodged there or to place a stent in the ureter to enable stones to pass through Lithotripsy, a noninvasive procedure for large kidney stones Dysuria can become very painful very quickly. Always see a doctor for painful urination that lasts more than a couple of days, so you can get on the road to fast relief.