Painful urination can have multiple causes, requires attention
BY DR. KOMOROFF Universal Uclick
Monday, March 18, 2013
3/18/13 at 3:55 AM
Dear Doctor K: I'm a 45-year-old woman. Now and then, I suddenly feel pain every time I urinate. It lasts for a week or so and then goes away. My doctor said I don't have a urinary infection. What else might be causing my symptoms?
Dear Reader: Several different conditions can cause such symptoms:
A bladder infection (cystitis) often starts when bacteria enter the urethra during sexual intercourse. The urethra is the tube that connects the bladder to the outside world. Bacteria live around the opening of the urethra; sometimes they can get into the tube and travel to the bladder.
Kidney infection. A kidney sometimes can become infected. Long tubes called ureters connect the kidneys to the bladder; bacteria can sometimes make the long trip up the ureters to the kidneys. The symptoms of a kidney infection, in contrast to a bladder infection, include fevers, pain in the side of the back, nausea, chills and sometimes low blood pressure. Kidney infections always need urgent medical attention.
Urethritis is an inflammation of the urethra. It is usually caused by organisms that cause several sexually transmitted diseases, such as chlamydia. It also can be caused by contact with an irritating chemical (such as bubble bath or spermicides). Or it may result from irritation from an object, such as a tube inserted to drain urine.
Vaginitis is an inflammation of the vagina. It can be caused by an allergic reaction to an irritating chemical such as a spermicide, douche or bath soap. Low levels of estrogen after menopause can cause vaginitis. So can an object such as a tampon. Infections including bacterial vaginosis, candidiasis and trichomoniasis can also cause vaginitis. Usually vaginitis causes discharge from the vagina, but sometimes it just causes pain with urination.
If you continue to have pain when you urinate, check with your doctor again. To confirm a diagnosis, you may need to have other tests.
Write Dr. K at www.AskDoctorK.com or c/o Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut, Kansas City, MO 64106