ZocdocAnswersWhat should I do if it burns when I urinate?

Question

What should I do if it burns when I urinate?

I have a burning sensation when I urinate. I'm a 23 year old male and I have never had sex. Why is my urine burning if I don't have sex? Can you get an infection in your penis without having sex?

Answer

The symptom you are describing is termed dysuria, which is usually described as either burning or pain with urination. Though this symptom is far more common in women, it also occurs in men, especially as they age. In young sexually active males inflammation of the urethra caused by a sexually transmitted infection is more frequently the cause. Dysuria can be caused by inflammation or irritation in the urethra, prostate, bladder or other parts of urinary tract. In older gentlemen the most common cause is a urinary tract infection, usually due to poor urine flow caused by enlargement of the prostate. Young men can also have urinary tract infections, though this is much more unlikely in the absence of anatomical abnormalities. There are also several other causes of dysuria that are not necessarily caused by an infection such as kidney stones, auto-immune diseases or medications. The best way to have your symptoms evaluated is at your primary care physician’s office. Your doctor will take a history, perform an exam and likely take a sample of your urine to check for infection or inflammation. Depending on the results of this analysis antibiotics or further workup may be required. You should contact your primary care physician who can evaluate your symptoms more thoroughly and help direct you to the appropriate therapy. Good luck!

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