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Quick question: Ever felt an unstoppable urge to pee, only for it to hurt like hell when you do? Painful burning sensations can cause a lot of worry, but while it can be a result of a more serious condition like kidney stones (you'll have lower back pain then, too), your discomfort is usually due to something less sinister and easier to treat. Here are five possibilities to ponder while you book an appointment with your family doctor.

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Urinary Tract Infection

This is the most common reason why women feel a burning sensation when they pee. You get a urinary tract infection (UTI) when bacteria enters your urethra. What then results is the persistent urge to go to the bathroom, as well as a burning feeling while urinating (especially at the end). See your doctor for a dose of antibiotics and the infection – and the associated unpleasantries – will soon dissipate.

Yeast Infection

The burning sensation might also be a result of a yeast infection, which happens when there's an overgrowth of yeast in the vaginal area. One way to tell that you have a yeast infection – as opposed to any other type of infection – is that you’ll notice a thick, white discharge too. Over-the-counter medications are easily available to treat yeast infections, although it's always best to see a doctor if it's the first time you're experiencing such symptoms.

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Sexually-Transmitted Infections

Feeling pain while peeing could also be a sign of a sexually-transmitted infection (STI). These include chlamydia, gonorrhoea and herpes, so if you are sexually active, these could be possible causes, too. While herpes also usually causes sores on the mouth and genitals, look out for symptoms such as a yellowish vaginal discharge, which may be a sign that you have chlamydia or gonorrhea.

Vaginal Tears

Tiny abrasions in the vaginal area can occur during sex, usually because you're not sufficiently lubricated when penetration occurs. Vaginal tears are common in the immediate period after childbirth too, making it painful to pee for new mothers.

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Feminine Hygiene Products

Feminine hygiene washes or douches can cause irritation in your vaginal area, especially if you have very sensitive skin. This will result in a burning sensation when you pee, so stop using them and consult a doctor, stat.