Do men get yeast infections? In short, yes. Yeast infection AKA candidiasis AKA thrush is caused by a fungus called Candida albicans. Usually, the fungus is harmlessly present on the skin, but when it multiplies quickly, it can cause an infection in men and women. In men, yeast infections may cause redness and itching of the penis.
Male Candidiasis is a mild infection and clears up quickly if treated with the correct medication. To understand Male Candidiasis better, we should examine the nature of the ailment in detail.
What is Yeast infection in Males?
The human body is host to various fungi due to our interaction with the environment. A common form of fungus present in our body is Candida or Candida Albicans. Typically found in small amounts in places like the mouth, belly, and skin, Candida is usually harmless. But if it finds a favorable environment, the Candida may multiply rapidly and cause a yeast infection.
Candidiasis can develop in the mouth, throat, skin, and genitals. Genital yeast infections are more common in women, but they also occur in men. Thrush is not a sexually transmissible disease; it can be transferred from person to person through unprotected intercourse.
Types of Male Yeast Infection
Yeast infections in males can be of different types. Wherever the fungus Candida finds warm and moist conditions, it may multiply and grow out of control to cause Candidiasis. Here’s a look at the different kinds of male Candidiasis:
1. Genital Yeast Infection
A yeast infection in the genitals could be triggered due to poor hygiene, wearing wet clothes for a long time, or underwear that doesn’t allow your skin to breathe. Men with a genital yeast infection may have an itchy rash on their penis. Usually, genital Candidiasis in men targets the head of the penis.
2. Oral Yeast Infection
Candida spreads in the mouth or throat. It is known as an oral yeast infection or oropharyngeal Candidiasis. This kind of oral yeast infection is common in new born children, the elderly, and those with weak immune systems.
3. Invasive Candidiasis
If candida fungus enters the bloodstream, it may reach the heart, brain, blood, eyes, and bones to cause a life-threatening infection. Causes of invasive Candidiasis may be the use of unclean medical equipment or devices while undergoing treatment at a hospital or nursing home.
Who are More Likely to Get Yeast infection?
Yeast infections are common among women, but men can get them too. Oral infections that affect the mouth, throat, and esophagus are common among adults undergoing treatment for cancer, people taking medications such as corticosteroids and wide-spectrum antibiotics, wearing dentures, or having diabetes. Oral thrush can also affect newborn babies who are breastfeeding.
Genital yeast infections affect both men and women. In men, the causes include obesity, a weak immune system (people with HIV), adults who have trouble cleaning themselves, and sensitivity to soaps, perfumes, and chemicals. Adults can get a yeast infection through sex also. If your partner has a yeast infection, they can pass it to you through intercourse.
Those with a weak immune system are at a higher risk of contracting invasive Candidiasis. Some circumstances that may cause invasive Candidiasis are:
- Chemotherapy or radiation
- Taking immunosuppressants
- Central venous catheter
How Can You Tell if You Have a Yeast infection?
In the beginning, there are no symptoms of oral thrush. As the infection spreads, you may notice some or all of the following symptoms:
- White or yellow patches or bumps on your tongue, tonsils, gums, inner cheeks, or lips
- If the patches or bumps are scraped (with teeth or otherwise), there may be slight bleeding
- Soreness or burning in the mouth
- Cotton-like sensation in your mouth
- Dry, cracked skin at the corners of your mouth & lips
- Difficulty in swallowing
- A persistent bad taste in the mouth
- Loss of taste
Symptoms of male genital Candidiasis include –
- Itching, redness, or a burning sensation on the tip of your penis or foreskin
- White discharge that has an unpleasant smell
- Moisture at the tip of your penis
- Swelling at the tip of the penis and near the foreskin
- Sores or white patches of skin on the penis
- Trouble in pulling the foreskin back
- Trouble in urinating
- Difficulty in getting or keeping an erection
If allowed to worsen, a yeast infection can make it difficult to urinate or control your urine stream.
People who develop invasive Candidiasis are usually already sick with some other condition, making it difficult to detect. One of the most common symptoms of invasive Candidiasis is fever and chills that don’t subside after antibiotic treatment. Further symptoms may differ based on the organ infected by the fungus.
Treatment & Prevention
For quick treatment and cure of Candidiasis, it is best to consult a doctor at the earliest. Self-treatment is not recommended, and you should only take the medications prescribed by a doctor or licensed medical practitioner.
For treating an oral yeast infection, your doctor may prescribe one or more of the following medicines:
- Diflucan or fluconazole (Antifungal medication)
- Nystatin or Nystop (Antifungal mouthwash, can also be used to swab a baby’s mouth)
- Itraconazole (Useful antifungal medicine for people with HIV)
- Clotrimazole (Antifungal lozenges)
- Amphotericin B (Recommended for severe cases of oral thrush)
If you stand a risk of getting an oral yeast infection, your doctor may advise the following preventive measures:
- Rinse your mouth periodically
- Brush and floss your teeth twice daily
- Check your dentures for fitment and cleanliness every day
- See your dentist regularly
- Limit the consumption of sugar in your diet
- Avoid a dry mouth
For treating a male genital yeast infection, doctors usually prescribe one or more of the following medicines:
- An over-the-counter antifungal cream
- A steroid cream such as hydrocortisone
- Fluconazole tablets
- You may be advised to go for circumcision in case of recurring yeast infection, especially if your foreskin is tight.
You can prevent male genital Candidiasis by –
- Cleaning and drying your penis well, every day
- Manage your blood sugar, if you have diabetes
- Lose weight, in case of obesity
- Avoid soaps and chemicals that may cause irritation