Thrush Infection Male Yeast

Yeast infections cause discomfort and can harm the body. Though male yeast infections strike less often than vaginal yeast infections, recognition and action are important for healthy healing and recovery. Left untreated, male yeast infections can wreak havoc on the body, causing a number of unwanted ailments.

Male Yeast Infections: Causes

Male yeast infections stem from the same yeast-like fungus that causes vaginal yeast infections: Candida albicans. Small amounts of Candida reside harmlessly in the mouth, digestive tract, on the skin and in other warm, moist parts of the body. However, when conditions in the body allow Candida to multiply, it cancause an infection.

A number of conditions can cause Candida to spread, including:

  • a weakened immune system or an immune disorder, such as HIV/AIDS
  • nonoxynol-9, a spermicide used in condoms
  • prolonged use of antibiotics, which kill the good bacteria that prevent yeast from growing
  • sugar in the urine caused by high blood sugar.

Sometimes, men can acquire a yeast infection through sexual intercourse with a woman who has a vaginal yeast infection.

As a damp, warm cavity, the vagina provides a perfect environment for yeast, causing most women to experience at least one vaginal yeast infection during their lives. Statistics suggest that 12 percent to 15 percent of men who have intercourse with an infected woman will acquire yeast infection symptoms of their own. Though rare, transmitting yeast infections through sex does happen. Intercourse should be avoided when one partner has an infection.

Male Yeast Infections: Symptoms

Men with yeast infections experience a number of uncomfortable symptoms, including:

  • a rash in the area surrounding the penis that can spread to the anus
  • dry, cracked skin on or around the penis
  • fatigue
  • itching and burning on the head or shaft of the penis
  • moodiness
  • painful intercourse
  • redness on or around the penis
  • small blisters on the head or shaft of the penis
  • stomach bloating.

Patients should be warned, however, that self-diagnosis is difficult. Many of these symptoms are not unlike those of genital herpes, making it tricky to distinguish between the two conditions. A doctor can administer proper testing to make an accurate diagnosis and advise a treatment plan.

More severe cases of male yeast infections involve the spread of bacteria inside the shaft of the penis. This usually causes a white, clumpy discharge and painful urination. Patients experiencing these symptoms should see a doctor immediately.

Male Yeast Infections: Treatment Options

Men with symptoms of a yeast infection should see a doctor to ensure proper diagnosis and care. Often, an over-the-counter antifungal cream, such as Monistat® or Lotrimen®, or an oral prescription pill, such as Diflucan® or Nizoral®, will be recommended.

Many people also recognize gentian violet as a natural and safe alternative male yeast infection cure. This antifungal agent is typically mixed with water and applied to the infected area. Just beware that it can stain your clothes and skin purple.

Preventing Male Yeast Infections

Doctors also typically encourage a number of preventative measures, especially for recurring conditions. These include:

  • avoiding antibiotics except when absolutely necessary
  • avoiding sexual intercourse while the infection is present
  • eating yogurt regularly to replenish good bacteria
  • using condoms that do not contain nonoxynol-9
  • washing the genital area thoroughly before and after intercourse
  • wearing cotton underwear.

Resources

Candida Support (2002-2007). Male Yeast Infection. Retrieved on August 29, 2007, from the Candida Support Web site: http://www.candidasupport.org/male_yeast_infection.html#top.

Mayo Clinic (2007). Male Yeast Infection: Can I Get It From My Girlfriend? Retrieved on August 29, 2007, from the Mayo Clinic Web site: http://www.mayoclinic.com/print/male-yeast-infection/HO00172/METHOD=print.

MSU (2005). The Yeast Infection Homepage. Retrieved on August 29, 2007, from the MSU Web site: http://www.msu.edu/~eisthen/yeast/index.html.

Yeast Infection Advisor (2007). Understanding Male Yeast Infection. Retrieved on August 29, 2007, from the Yeast Infection Advisor Web site: http://www.yeastinfectionadvisor.com/maleyeastinfection.html.