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Overview of Burning During Urination

“It burns when I pee" - What could this mean? There are several answers to this common question. Burning during urination could be a sign of STDs, in both men and women. When caused by an STDs, burning when you pee may be accompanied with an usual discharge (vaginal or penile), pain during sex, testicular pain and/or abdominal pain in women.

Possible Causes of Burning During Urination

Painful urination can be caused by a variety of causes, including sexually transmitted diseases. Sexually transmitted diseases that cause these symptoms may include:

  • Chlamydia 
  • Gonorrhea 
  • Trichomoniasis

Other causes may include:

  • Urinary tract infection (occurs in both men and women)
  • Non-gonoccocal urethritis (men)
  • Bacterial vaginosis (women)
  • Kidney infection

Diagnosing Burning During Urination

If you have possibly been exposed to an STD and you have said, “It burns when I pee,” STD testing is an important step in diagnosing this symptom. An STD test for chlamydia, gonorrhea and trichomoniasis can determine if an STD is present. STD testing is crucial to avoid long-term damage and spreading the infection to other partners. If negative for STDs, a doctor can determine other causes.

Discomfort during urination may be accompanied by other STD symptoms. Common STD symptoms may include:

  • Pain or burning during urination
  • Abnormal vaginal or penile discharge
  • Pain or discomfort after ejaculation (men)
  • Pain during sex (women)
  • Abdominal cramps or irregular menstrual cycles (women)
  • Vaginal itching
  • Pain or itching inside the penis
  • Genital sores, blisters or bumps

Treating Painful Urination & Other Symptoms

When caused by a bacterial STD, symptoms of painful urination can be cured with an antibiotic. Gonorrhea, chlamydia and trichomoniasis are all curable. However, only STD testing can provide an accurate diagnosis. These three common STDs cause similar symptoms, but all require different medications for treatment. STD testing is important when determining the correct treatment.

Once the proper treatment begins, symptoms should subside within a few days.

Avoiding Reinfection and Preventing STDs

A burning sensation when urinating is unpleasant, so most people never want to experience these symptoms again. To avoid reinfection, abstain from sexual intercourse until the course of antibiotics have been completed as instructed by your doctor. Partners should get tested even if they aren't experiencing symptoms and complete treatment if positive. Retesting is often recommended 3 weeks after completing treatment to ensure the infection has been cleared. To prevent new STD infections, use condom, practice mutual monogamy and have STD testing performed regularly. 

If you have found yourself thinking "It burns when I pee," or you're experiencing other possible STD symptoms, call 866-322-7154 for fast, private STD testing.

References for STD information: cdc.gov

Written and Researched by Abby Morgan

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