Pain with Urination

Symptom Definition

  • Discomfort (pain, burning or stinging) when passing urine
  • In children too young to talk, suspect pain if your child begins to cry regularly while passing urine
  • Urgency (can’t wait) and frequency (passing small amounts) of urination may be associated
  • Main cause in young girls: an irritation and redness of the vulva (vulvitis) and opening of the urethra (urethritis) from bubble bath or shampoo or other soap
  • Any boy with painful urine needs his urine checked

Call Your Doctor Now (night or day) If

  • Your child looks or acts very sick
  • Can’t pass urine or only can pass few drops
  • Blood in urine
  • Severe pain
  • High fever over 104°F (40°C) or chills
  • Abdominal, side or back pain and also has fever

Call Your Doctor Within 24 Hours (between 9 and 4) If

  • Painful urination, but none of the symptoms described above

Home Care Advice for Soap Vulvitis (pending talking with your doctor)

  1. Reassurance: Any boy with a painful urine needs his urine checked.
  2. Definition: Soap Vulvitis is the #1 cause of pain with urination in young girls.  The following are symptoms and prerequisites for soap vulvitis.
    • Burning or stinging with passing urine
    • Vaginal itching or irritation may also be present
    • Prepubertal girl less then 10 years old
    • Uses bubble bath, bathes in soapy water or washes genitals with soap
    • To be sure she doesn’t have a UTI, she needs to have her urine checked. The following treatment will reduce symptoms while awaiting your appointment:
  3. Baking Soda-Warm Water Soaks: Soak the genital area for 20 minutes every 4 hours to remove irritants and to decrease painful urination. Add 2 oz. baking soda per tub of warm water. (Reason: baking soda is better than vinegar for the prepubertal age group)
  4. Increased Fluids: Give extra fluids to drink (Reason: to produce a dilute, nonirritating urine)
  5. Avoid Soaps: Avoid bubble bath, soap, and shampoo to the vulva because they are irritants. Only use warm water to cleanse the vulva or baby oil to remove secretions
  6. Contagiousness: Even if your child has a urinary tract infection, it is not contagious
  7. Call Your Doctor If
    • Your child becomes worse or develops any of the “Call Your Doctor” symptoms