First Aid: Urination Pain

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First Aid

Pain during urination can be caused by infection in the urinary system; irritation or injury of the genital area; or stones (small masses of minerals) in the urinary tract. Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are the most common cause of painful urination.

Signs and Symptoms

  • burning or stinging with urination
  • the urge to urinate more often
  • bad-smelling, bloody, or discolored urine (pee)
  • fever or chills
  • decreased appetite or activity
  • irritability
  • nausea or vomiting
  • lower back pain or abdominal (belly) pain
  • wetting accidents (in potty-trained kids)

What to Do

  • Call the doctor if your child has pain while urinating or can't urinate.
  • Follow the doctor's treatment instructions.
  • Encourage drinking lots of water and other fluids (like cranberry juice).
  • Give acetaminophen or ibuprofen as needed for discomfort.

Think Prevention!

  • Avoid bubble baths and perfumed soaps — wash the genital area with only mild soap or lukewarm water.
  • Change soiled and very wet diapers right away.
  • Remind kids to go to the bathroom often.
  • Teach girls to gently wipe from front to back and make sure no tiny pieces of toilet paper get left behind.
  • Have sexually active teens screened for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

Reviewed by: Steven Dowshen, MD
Date reviewed: April 2014



Related Resources

OrganizationNational Kidney Foundation (NKF) NKF seeks to prevent kidney and urinary tract diseases, improve the health and well-being of individuals and families affected by these diseases, and increase the availability of all organs for transplantation.
Web SiteNephron Information Center The Nephron Information Center offers information about how the kidneys work, transplants, and links to other sites.


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Urinary Tract Infections Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are common in kids, but often can be prevented. Early detection and treatment are key.
Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections and Related Conditions Recurrent urinary tract infections can cause kidney damage if left untreated, especially in kids under age 6. Here's how to recognize the symptom of UTIs and get help for your child.
Kidneys and Urinary Tract The bean-shaped kidneys, each about the size of a child's fist, perform several functions essential to health. Their most important role is to filter blood and produce urine.
A to Z: Dysuria Learn more about dysuria (or painful urination) and its treatment.
Urine Tests Is your child having a urine culture or urinalysis performed? Find out why urine tests are performed, and what to expect when the doctor orders them.




Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

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