Painful or Frequent Urination in Men

Painful or frequent urination is a common problem, especially in older men. Urinary tract infections, kidney stones and prostate problems can all produce these symptoms. Frequent urination without pain also can be a side effect of certain medications, or a symptom of diabetes.

Most men who experience new problems with painful or frequent urination should see their doctor. This guide is intended to provide helpful information while you are awaiting further evaluation, or can add to what you may have already learned after your visit with a doctor.

Please keep in mind that this information cannot replace a face-to-face evaluation with your own health care provider.

Pain or burning during urination and frequent urination can be caused by the same medical condition. However, it's helpful to focus on one symptom or the other.

Choose which symptom is presently bothering you the most.

I have frequent urination.

I have pain or burning with urination.

Pain or burning can be a sign of a several different medical conditions, including

  • a urinary tract infection

  • a prostate problem, such as a prostate infection

  • a sexually transmitted disease

  • kidney stones.

Have you noticed a discharge from the tip of your penis?

Yes, I've noticed a discharge from my penis.

No, I have not noticed a discharge.

Good -- that makes urethritis less likely; urethritis is usually due to a sexually transmitted disease such as gonorrhea or chlamydia.

Some very serious urinary tract infections may cause pain or burning during urination; these infections are often associated with other symptoms, such as

  • a fever above 100.5F

  • shaking chills

  • severe back pain

  • pain behind the bladder, deep in the pelvis or behind the scrotum

  • nausea or vomiting

  • a new rash.

Have you had any of these symptoms along with pain or burning during urination?

Yes, I have had one or more of these symptoms.

No, I have not had any of these symptoms.

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