National Continence Helpline

8am - 8pm Monday to Friday AEST Talk to a continence nurse

Pain or stinging when urinating (UTI)

Get help from a health care professional, or talk to your supervisor or care coordinator if the person:

  • looks unwell or has a pain in their abdomen (stomach) or anus (bottom)
  • the urine is a different colour than normal.

If the person you support has smelly urine, or they feel pain or stinging when urinating, they may have a urinary tract infection (UTI). A UTI is an infection of the urinary system.


A UTI is serious because it can affect the kidneys. Signs and symptoms of a UTI can be:

  • a burning feeling when passing urine
  • a feeling that the bladder is still full after going to the toilet
  • passing urine more often than normal
  • lower stomach pain, especially when passing urine
  • pain in the lower back
  • bad smelling urine
  • urine that is cloudy, bloody or dark
  • chills
  • fever
  • behaving different to normal (delirium).

What do you do if you think the person you support has a UTI?

If you think the person you support has a UTI, you need to:

  • talk to your supervisor, their care coordinator or their general practitioner (GP) straight away for more help
  • encourage the person to drink more water
  • quickly change continence pads when damp or soiled.

If the person you support has a spinal injury above T6, make sure you know the signs and symptoms of autonomic dysreflexia.

Need more help? Call the National Continence Helpline on 18OO 33 OO 66 and talk to a continence nurse advisor.

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This information is not a substitute for independent professional advice.