ZocdocAnswersWhy does it seem to hurt when my child pees?

Question

Why does it seem to hurt when my child pees?

I recently started trying to potty train my 2 & 1/2 year old a few weeks ago. She realized early on that I would put her in a Pull-up for nap time, and held in everything until that time. That amounted to a few hours a day. Then she stopped peeing completely, would hold down there and cry as though it hurt for her to do so.

Answer

Pain with urination is medically known as dysuria. This is a common condition in women as the age, however is also possible in younger girls. I would strongly recommend you discuss this with her pediatrician. This should be evaluated. Firstly, it is possible that she is not having pain with urination, but has simply a negative association with urination. This is possible in children who are scolded for urinating their beds -- as they then mentally associate urination with a negative event. This requires a supportive nurturing potty training experience. Dysuria itself -- is often a sign of inflammation of the urinary tract. The most common cause is a urinary tract infection, caused by bacteria in the urine. This is more common in women who have a shorter tract to the bladder than men and therefore it is easier for bacteria from the rectum to enter the bladder. This is sometimes increased in poor genital hygiene. Often urinary tract infections are associated with increased urinary frequency, blood in the urine or change in urine color. This requires evaluation. One consideration with any child who has dysuria (or any person really) is a sexually transmitted infection. This is presentation of sexual abuse in children. Talk to your child's pediatrician. Good luck!

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