How to Decode Your Pee Pain

OB-GYN Dr. Jessica Shepherd shares tips that can help you identify why it hurts to pee.

It’s never pleasant having a burning sensation when trying to pee. However, figuring out the proper diagnosis can be tricky. OB-GYN Dr. Jessica Shepherd provides us with insight on how to properly identify your discomfort, so you can pee pain-free again. 

Yeast Infections

To be sure you have a yeast infection, do a discharge check. If there is discharge associated with your burning pain, especially if it looks like cottage cheese, you likely have a yeast infection. Fortunately, there is a home remedy to help relieve the itchiness and other symptoms. In a warm bath, add ½ cup of apple cider vinegar to soothe your discomfort.


While a bath can make you feel better, you may need to take extra measures to fully treat your condition. If you have had a yeast infection in the past, try an over-the-counter treatment. If after two days you still don't feel any relief, check with your doctor to make sure you are on the proper healing path. 

Bacterial Overgrowth

If you notice a strong odor, you may have bacterial overgrowth. This occurs when healthy bacteria in the vagina are depleted, allowing unhealthy ones to become predominant and cause an infection. Having bacterial overgrowth means your body’s pH level is off. Sometimes, your body can cure itself. However, if your discomfort is persistent, you need to see your doctor for medication. 

Urinary Tract Infections

If you are experiencing pain not only when you pee, but also in your abdomen, you may have a urinary tract infection (UTI). Urinary tract infections typically make you use the bathroom frequently. Also, it may cause your pee to look pink or brown due to bacteria or blood in the urine. Research has shown that women who drink more than a liter and a half (about 6 cups of water) are less likely to get a recurring UTI. 

Holding It In

Most adults can hold about two cups of pee before they feel the urge to use the bathroom. But, when possible, avoid holding in your pee. When you are holding your pee, you are also retaining bacteria that can lead to UTIs and kidney infections. 

If you know you will be in a situation where you cannot use the bathroom for a long period of time, eat snacks like berries and dried fruits. They will fill you up right away and not make you have to go to the bathroom. Also, drink plain water instead of sugary drinks and caffeine. Drinks such as these can irritate your bladder so it's best to avoid them. 

Related:

5 Signs You Might Have a UTI

101 Clever Ways to Use Apple Cider Vinegar

What to Expect at a Gynecologist Appointment

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