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Can men suffer from thrush?

This article explores the symptoms, causes, prevention and treatment for male thrush.

Yes, absolutely. Although we have majorly heard about women and their experiences with yeast infections, men can also suffer from it. Both male and female yeast infections are caused due to the overgrowth of the fungus called Candida Albicans.

Photo by Ryan Gardner from Unsplash.com

This article explores the symptoms, causes, prevention and treatment for male thrush.

What is Thrush?

Thrush, also known as yeast infection, is commonly caused in women. However, that’s not where it stops. Even men can get thrush. This happens because the natural fungi on our skin get a suitable environment to grow and thrive in, leading to an uncomfortable infection.

Men can see a growth of thrush infection in the forms of:

  • Penile Yeast Inflammation (Candida Balanitis) involving swelling and redness on the head of your penis.
  • Jock Itch, which is a red rash spreading from a penis to the inner thighs, buttocks and anal area.

What are the Thrush Symptoms in Men?

Several men do not show any symptoms, which is a problem as you don’t get the proper treatment to control it. Such men often find their female partner frequently suffering from yeast infections. If this is the case, you should visit the doctor as you might be cross-infecting each other.

Men who experience thrush symptoms usually notice:

  • Reddening of the skin around the head of the penis and under the foreskin
  • Experience difficulty in pulling back the foreskin
  • Feeling of irritation on or around the penile area
  • An itching or burning sensation while urinating or having sex
  • A cottage cheese-like white coloured discharge
  • An unpleasant or mouldy smell

These symptoms can also collide with common symptoms of STDs or STIs. So, it is wiser to consult a doctor to get a confirmation on the exact reason behind experiencing them.

What are the Causes and Risk Factors of Thrush in Men?

Thrush is caused due to the increased amount of candida yeast. This happens when the yeast is given a favourable environment to grow. Moist areas are one of the most common risk factors for a penis yeast infection. An environment like this is common for creating a candida imbalance. The real question is, what causes this imbalance leading to increased yeast?

One of the most common causes of candida imbalance is having sexual encounter with an individual already suffering from an untreated yeast infection. Yes, these fungal infections are not sexually transmitted infections or contagious but having a direct encounter with someone already suffering from candida overgrowth can affect your skin’s natural fungal cells.

Some of the other common avoidable behaviours and conditions that lead to thrush in men are:

  • Maintaining poor hygiene
  • Frequently using shower gels or soaps that irritate your skin
  • Being uncircumcised
  • Using antibiotics for a prolonged period
  • Having diabetes because higher blood sugar causes sugar in your urine, stimulating the yeast growth
  • Getting immunity-weakening diseases
  • Obesity, since the folds can prove to be a great environment for fungal growth

How to Prevent Candidiasis in Men?

As we have seen above, the risk factors cause the growth of candidiasis in men. So, one of the most obvious ways to prevent it is by completely cutting off your contact with causes of male candidiasis.

To avoid penile yeast infection, make sure you:

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  • Shower after a workout session to eliminate sweat and bacteria. Ensure you dry yourself thoroughly
  • Do not wear tight underwear and shorts
  • Wear cotton underwear and completely avoid the synthetic ones
  • Keep your penis clean. Wash it thoroughly. Avoid any heavily fragranced product around it
  • Although thrush is not an STD, it can be contagious during sexual intercourse. So, make sure you wear a barrier method of contraception like a male condom

Treatment for Male Yeast Infection

If you are suffering from male candidiasis, there is no need to worry! It is treatable with tablets and creams, both over the counter and prescription-based.

Some of the treatments include:

1.     Tablet

Fluconazole tablet is recommended for treating thrush The active ingredient in Fluconazole, works as an anti-fungal agent. It destroys the thrush-causing yeast and helps clear the infection from the inside out.

2.     Cream

Anti-fungal external cream like Canesten contains the active ingredient Clotrimazole. It is used to treat genital thrush and must be applied to the penis to reduce irritation and itching.

How Long Until You Get Relief from Male Candidiasis?

If you follow the proper treatment procedure and complete your medications, thrush shouldn’t last longer than 14 days. However, even after finishing the course, you don’t see any improvement, see the doctor again. If you notice a recurring thrush more than twice in six months, pay the doctor a visit.

AUTHOR BIO:

Krishma Patel is the Co-founder and the Superintendent Pharmacist at MedsNow, an online pharmacy in the UK that provides health and wellness products and treatments along with free online consultations. She is passionate about showcasing the integral function community pharmacies can play in supporting the healthcare system and the NHS by providing patients with high quality, safe and discreet access to healthcare at their convenience. Along with being the co-founder of MedsNow, Krishma is also the Director and the Superintendent Pharmacist of Enimed Ltd., an independent pharmacy group comprising 32 branches.

Written By

Your "not that regular" all-around gal, writing about anything, thus everything. "There's always more to discover... thus write about," she says in between - GASP! - puffs. And so that's what she does, exactly. Write, of course; not (just) puff.

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