MedicineNet explains that painful urination, often called dysuria, can be caused from both infectious and noninfectious conditions. However, the most common cause of painful urination is a bacterial infection of the bladder. More rarely, dysuria is caused by kidney stones, sexually transmitted diseases, prostatitis and interstitial cystitis.
Healthline states that painful urination may result from illness or damage to the urethra, bladder, ureters or perineum. Urinary tract infections are more common in women than they are in men. This occurs because the female urethra is much shorter than the male urethra, allowing for bacteria to survive longer in women than in men. Women who are pregnant or menopausal are more likely to suffer from urinary tract infections than other women.
Another common cause of painful urination for men and women is the presence of a sexually transmitted disease. Healthline lists gonorrhea, chlamydia and herpes as diseases that are likely to cause painful urination. Bladder inflammation, which is often called interstitial cystitis or painful bladder syndrome, also causes frequent urinary pain. Unfortunately, doctors do not understand exactly what causes interstitial cystitis. Additionally, Healthline suggests that soaps, lotions and other substances may irritate the urethral opening or vagina and cause painful urination. A doctor should be consulted for diagnosis.