Otc treatment for male yeast infection: The request could not be satisfied
|Yeast infections occur far less frequently in men than in women, but prolonged use of antibiotics, diabetes or having a compromised immune system can increase susceptibility. Symptoms can include redness, a rash and itching, but the infection typically is cured easily with over-the-counter medication.
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Thrush in men I Canesten
Thrush in men
Thrush is a common condition that affects both men and women. It is caused by an overgrowth of a yeast-like fungus, Candida albicans. Most people, who develop a yeast infection are healthy, but the natural balance of their skin flora has been disturbed.
In men, thrush symptoms can be similar to those of a sexually transmitted disease. Some of the male thrush symptoms include burning, itching or other irritation under the foreskin or on the tip of the penis, redness of the head of the penis and a tight foreskin.
Although vaginal thrush is not an STI, it can be passed back and forth during sex. Although it’s not an STI, it can be passed back and forth during sex. A weakened immune system, antibiotics or diabetes may make men more susceptible. The following can increase the risk of men getting thrush.
If you are taking antibiotics
If you are feeling run down
If you are not drying your penis carefully after washing
If you use fragranced soaps and shower gels which may irritate the penis
How to prevent and treat male thrush
Although a penile yeast infection is easily treated, it is always advised to take precautionary steps to lower the risk of developing one. Ensuring proper hygiene and going for loose-fitting, breathable clothing are some of the simplest and most effective actions to help you prevent male thrush.
You have been careful but still got thrush? Don’t worry – thrush is effectively treated with over-the-counter medication, which should relieve the symptoms. Some of the male thrush treatments includes oral capsules, such as Canesten® Thrush Oral Capsules; Canesten® Thrush External Cream is useful to help with prevention of re-infection and can be applied to the head of the penis 2-3 times daily.
Take a look at some additional prevention tips:
Wear loose clothes and breathable cotton underwear that is not too tight
Avoid using aggressive perfumed soaps or shower gels on your genitals
Clean your penis regularly and dry it properly after washing
Take a shower instead of long baths
Thrush in men | healthdirect
Thrush is an infection with a fungus. It is also known as a yeast infection. The fungus, called Candida, occurs naturally in the body, particularly in warm, moist areas such as the mouth and genitals.
The following information is about thrush in and around the penis. For information about thrush infections of the groin go to our male groin – irritation and infection page.
Candida normally does not cause any problems because it is kept under control by the immune system and by other bacteria in the body. However, some factors such as skin irritation, taking antibiotics or poorly controlled diabetes can allow the fungus to multiply, which can lead to symptoms.
Many people already have a small amount of candida in their bodies and on their skin. This is normal.
Symptoms of thrush in men
The most common symptoms are:
- a very itchy, red, and sore head of your penis (glans)
- small red spots on the head of your penis (glans)
- discharge from your penis
- pain when passing urine
- difficultly pulling back your foreskin
- a ‘cheese-like’ substance that smells yeasty and sometimes collects under your foreskin
In some men, thrush also causes their foreskin to swell and crack. This is probably caused by an allergy to the yeast.
Treatments for thrush in men
If you have thrush in and around the penis, practising good hygiene can help to clear up the infection.
- Clean the infected area carefully, preferably in the shower rather than a bath. Make sure you dry the area well by patting it rather than rubbing it. This will help reduce the build-up of moisture in the area and make it more difficult for the fungus to survive.
- Don’t use sprays, soaps, oils, disinfectants, shower gels or deodorants around the affected area, as these can cause further irritation.
- Avoid sharing your towels.
- Wear loose-fitting cotton underwear to help to keep your genitals dry and cool, and prevent the build-up of the fungus.
You should also visit a pharmacy where you can buy an anti-fungal cream. Make sure you follow the dosage directions on the patient information leaflet that comes with the medicine. A single-dose pill treatment is also available on prescription. See your doctor to discuss the best treatment option.
If you are in pain, get advice on pain relief medicines you can take.
If these treatments don’t work or if you often get thrush, see a doctor as you may have other health problems or a drug-resistant type of Candida. Your doctor may also test for sexually transmissible infections, which can cause similar symptoms.
Not sure what to do next?
If you are still concerned about your thrush in men, why not use healthdirect’s online Symptom Checker to get advice on when to seek medical attention.
The Symptom Checker guides you to the next appropriate healthcare steps, whether it’s self care, talking to a health professional, going to a hospital or calling triple zero (000).
Yeast Infections – HealthyWomen
What Is It?
A yeast infection in an overgrowth of fungus in the vagina characterized by vaginal itching, burning and discharge.
Vaginal yeast infections, also called candida vaginal infections or candidiasis, are common and easily treated in most women. Candida is a fungus. It commonly exists in small amounts in the vagina, mouth and gastrointestinal tract. When the fungus overgrows in the vagina, a yeast infection develops. This causes uncomfortable symptoms such as vaginal itching, burning and discharge. Uncontrolled diabetes and the use of antibiotics, the contraceptive sponge, the diaphragm and spermicides are associated with more frequent yeast infections. Women who use hormonal birth control—birth control pills, the birth control patch or the vaginal ring—may also have more yeast infections.
Characteristics of Yeast Infections
Most women––as many as 75 percent––will have at least one diagnosis of vaginal yeast infection during their lifetimes. Yeast infections (also called yeast vaginitis or vaginal candidiasis) are one of the most common causes of vaginitis, an inflammation of the vagina characterized by discharge and irritation.
Yeast infections are more common during pregnancy. It seems that the higher levels of estrogen in pregnancy cause the vagina to produce more glycogen (sugar), which feeds the yeast. Similarly, people with diabetes get yeast infections more frequently.
Recurrent Yeast Infections
A small percentage of women (less than 5 percent) develop recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis (RVVC), defined as four or more symptomatic vaginal yeast infections during a 12-month period. Although RVVC is more common in women who have diabetes or problems with their immune system, most women with RVVC have no underlying medical illness that would predispose them to recurrent candida infections.
Conditions Mistaken for Yeast Infections: Bacterial Vaginosis and Trichomoniasis
Vaginal infections can also be caused by bacterial vaginosis (BV), the most common cause of vaginitis in women of childbearing age, and trichomoniasis, a sexually transmitted infection. BV and trichomoniasis are associated with more serious reproductive health concerns, such as premature birth and increased risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases. Because these infections can have symptoms similar to those of yeast infections, yet can have more serious reproductive effects, it’s important to see a health care professional to evaluate and diagnose any vaginal symptoms. A variety of medications can treat vaginal infections, but proper diagnosis is key.
Possibly because they are so common, women often self-diagnose yeast infections and self-treat with over-the-counter products.
But self-diagnosis may be a misdiagnosis. In one study, only 11 percent of women accurately diagnosed their yeast infections, and among women who had previously had a yeast infection, only 35 correctly diagnosed the condition. A handful of other vaginal infections, such as bacterial vaginosis (BV) and trichomoniasis cause similar symptoms.
Vaginal yeast infections may cause the following symptoms:
- Vaginal itch and/or soreness.
- A thick cottage cheese-like vaginal discharge, which may smell like yeast. A fishy odor is a symptom of BV, not of a yeast infection. The vagina normally produces a discharge that is usually described as clear or slightly cloudy, non-irritating, and having a mild odor. There may also be no discharge with a yeast infection or a discharge that is thin and watery.
- A burning discomfort around the vaginal opening, especially if urine comes into contact with the area.
- Pain, dryness or discomfort during sexual penetration.
- Redness and swelling of the vulva and vagina
Contact your health care professional if you have any of these symptoms.
During the normal menstrual cycle, the amount and consistency of vaginal discharge varies. At one time of the month, you may have a small amount of a very thin or watery discharge, while another time of the month the discharge may be thicker. These variations are normal. The normal mid-cycle discharge is slippery.
However, a vaginal discharge that has an offensive odor with irritation is not normal. The irritation can be described as itching or burning or both and often worsens at night. Sexual intercourse typically makes the irritation worse.
To diagnose your vaginal symptoms, your health care professional will perform a gynecological examination and check your vagina for inflammation and abnormal discharge. A sample of the vaginal discharge may be taken for laboratory examination under a microscope, or for a yeast culture, test to see if candida fungi grow under laboratory conditions. Looking under a microscope also helps rule out other causes of discharge such as BV or trichomoniasis, which require different treatment.
Antifungal medications are used to treat yeast infections. These medications are available in various over-the-counter (OTC) preparations and in one-, three- and seven-day doses. They include:
- butoconazole (Gynazole, Femstat 3)
- terconazole (Terazol)
- tioconazole (Vagistat-1)
- miconazole (Monistat)
- clotrimazole (Gyne-Lotrimin)
Differences among the various OTC medications include the length of treatment indicated, preparation type and cost. The shorter course of treatment is more convenient but often more expensive. The one-, three- and seven-day durations of treatment appear to be equally effective. Prescription antifungal treatments also are available.
In general, it’s acceptable to use OTC antifungal medication to self-treat your symptoms if you’ve had a yeast infection diagnosed by a health care professional before and you are now experiencing the same symptoms.
However, if you meet any of the following circumstances, do not self-treat. Instead, contact a health care professional for guidance.
- You’ve never had a yeast infection.
- You have a fever and/or abdominal pain.
- Your vaginal discharge is foul-smelling.
- You are diabetic, HIV-positive, pregnant or nursing.
- You used an over-the-counter yeast treatment but your symptoms have not gone away or they returned almost immediately.
If you take medication to treat a yeast infection—OTC medication or prescription medication—be sure to take the full course of the prescription. Don’t stop using it, even if you begin to feel better.
If your symptoms don’t respond or return shortly after they’d cleared up, consult your health care professional. Don’t just try a different over-the-counter treatment; your symptoms may not be caused by yeast.
Studies find up to an 89 percent error rate in self-diagnosis of yeast infections. Thus, if you think that you have a yeast infection, there’s a high chance you’re wrong. If your symptoms don’t ease after a few days of self-treatment with OTC medicine, or if they return promptly, see your health care professional. Keep in mind, however, that vaginal and vulvar irritation may persist for two weeks.
Yeast infections also may clear up without any treatment. However, there is a very small chance that a yeast infection may lead to a serious infection known as systematic candidal disease. This complication usually only occurs in women with compromised immune systems.
Side effects of OTC medications for yeast infections are generally minor and include burning, itching, irritation of the skin and headache. However, as with any medication, more serious side effects are possible, though rare, and may include hives, shortness of breath and facial swelling. Seek emergency treatment immediately if any of these symptoms occur.
Antifungal medications may damage condoms and diaphragms, so if you’re using such a medication, take other precautions to protect against pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Also, don’t use tampons while treating yeast infections with medication inserted into the vagina.
If you see a health care professional, he or she may prescribe a single dose of oral fluconazole (Diflucan) or a generic equivalent, although this treatment is not recommended during pregnancy. Also, do not take fluconazole if you are taking cisapride (Propulsid) because this drug combination could cause serious, even fatal, heart problems. There have been reported drug interactions between warfarin, an anticoagulant (blood thinner) medication, and topical miconazole nitrate products (such as Monistat) and oral fluconazole (Diflucan). Additionally, fluconazole may cause liver damage in rare instances, particularly in conjunction with alcohol use. Discuss all the medications you may be taking when you discuss your symptoms with your health care professional.
Also, notify your health care professional immediately if you develop a rash while taking fluconazole. Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. These include:
- stomach pain
If you have a yeast infection, your sexual partners do not need to be treated. However, if a male sex partner shows symptoms of candida balanitis—redness, irritation and/or itching at the tip of the penis—he may need to be treated with an antifungal cream or ointment.
Medications cure 80 to 90 percent of vaginal yeast infections within two weeks or less, often within a few days with less severe infections.
A small percentage of women (less than 5 percent) experience recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis (RVVC), defined as four or more yeast infections per year. Treatment involves a longer course of treatment—between 7 and 14 days of a topical cream or suppository or oral fluconazole followed by a second and third dose three and six days later. Your health care professional may also recommend a preventative treatment after the infection has resolved. This treatment may involve a 150 mg dose of fluconazole or 500 mg of topical clotrimazole once a week.
Among the strategies that may prevent vaginal yeast infections are:
- Keep the external genital area clean and dry.
- Avoid irritating soaps (including bubble bath) and vaginal sprays.
- Avoid scented soaps, powders or toilet tissue.
- Avoid daily use of panty liners, which can trap moisture and prevent good airflow.
- Change tampons and sanitary napkins frequently.
- Wear loose cotton underwear that doesn’t trap moisture.
- After swimming, change immediately into dry clothing instead of staying in your wet bathing suit.
- If you have diabetes, try to maintain stable blood sugar levels.
- Take antibiotics only when prescribed by your health care professional and never for longer than directed. In addition to destroying bacteria that cause illness, antibiotics kill off the “good” bacteria that keep the yeast in the vagina at a normal level. If you tend to get yeast infections whenever you take an antibiotic, ask your doctor to prescribe a vaginal antifungal agent at the same time.
- Wipe from the front to the rear (away from the vagina) after a bowel movement or urination.
- Don’t use douches. Douching with vinegar or other chemicals increases the rate of vaginal yeast infections because it alters the vaginal bacterial balance.
Facts to Know
- Seventy-five percent of women are likely to have at least one yeast infection during their lifetime; nearly half have two or more.
- Vaginal yeast infections are the second most common cause of abnormal vaginal discharge in the United States (the first is bacterial vaginosis).
- Yeast infections are quite common during pregnancy. It seems that the higher levels of estrogen in pregnancy cause the vagina to produce more glycogen (sugar), which feeds the yeast. Yeast infections are also more common in women with diabetes.
- A small percentage of women (less than 5 percent) develop recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis (RVVC), defined as four or more symptomatic vaginal yeast infections in a 12-month period. Most women with RVVC have no underlying medical illness that would predispose them to recurrent candida infections.
- A woman’s vagina normally produces a discharge described as clear or slightly cloudy, non-irritating and odor-free or having only a mild scent. During the normal menstrual cycle, the amount and consistency of discharge may vary.
- Douching disrupts the balance of normal bacteria in the vagina and can cause more frequent vaginal infections.
- Vaginal yeast infections can clear up without treatment. However, if you don’t treat a yeast infection, there is a very small chance you may develop a serious infection.
- If you have a yeast infection, treatment of sexual partners is usually not generally recommended, since it’s not clear if vaginal yeast infections are transmitted sexually. However, if a woman has recurrent infections and her male sex partner shows symptoms of candida balanitis—redness, irritation and/or itching at the tip of the penis—he may need to be treated with an antifungal cream or ointment.
- Medications cure 80 percent to 90 percent of vaginal yeast infections within two weeks or less, often within a few days.
- Take antibiotics only when prescribed by your health care professional and never take them for more or less time than directed. In addition to destroying bacteria that cause illness, antibiotics kill off the “good” bacteria that normally live in the vagina. Stopping treatment early, even when symptoms have improved, can cause infections to return and make them resistant to the medication.
Questions to Ask
Review the following Questions to Ask about yeast infections so you’re prepared to discuss this important health issue with your health care professional.
- Is there a difference between the various over-the-counter treatments for yeast infections? Which one would you recommend?
- Am I a candidate for the one-dose, oral prescription medication fluconazole (Diflucan)? (Be sure to tell your health care professional if you may be pregnant, are nursing, have any health problems or are taking any other medications.)
- Are the drugs used for treating yeast infections safe for pregnant women?
- Are the drugs used for treating yeast infections safe for nursing women?
- Does my male partner need to be treated? What if I have a female partner?
- Are different vaginal infections treated differently?
- How do I identify a yeast infection in the future?
- Do I need to refrain from sexual contact while I am being treated?
- How much douching is excessive?
- How do I avoid yeast infections in the future?
- I think I might have a yeast infection, but I’m not sure. Should I go ahead and try one of the over-the-counter preparations to see if my symptoms go away?
If you’ve had a yeast infection before and now have the same symptoms—vaginal discharge that has a yeast-like smell,with burning, itching and discomfort—self-treatment with an over-the-counter antifungal treatment is generally acceptable. However, many vaginal infections, including some that can cause serious reproductive health conditions, such as premature birth or increased risk of sexually transmitted diseases, have similar symptoms. If you’re not sure, have never had a yeast infection before, are pregnant or have a health condition, consult a health care professional for an evaluation of your symptoms before treating yourself with OTC medications.
- I’m on the third day of a seven-day treatment and my symptoms are all gone. Can I stop using the medication?
No, you need to use all of the medication as directed. Your symptoms can disappear before your infection is completely treated. If you stop using the medication now, the yeast infection could recur.
- I have vaginal itching and a discharge with a fishy odor. Is this a yeast infection?
No, a discharge with a fishy odor is not a symptom of a yeast infection. It’s a symptom of bacterial vaginosis (BV), another common, but more serious, vaginal infection. BV requires a different treatment than that used for yeast infections. Contact a health care professional for additional guidance.
- What is the risk of self-treating yeast infection for women who are pregnant or nursing or those who have diabetes or HIV?
First, women who are pregnant or have diabetes or HIV have a higher risk of developing a yeast infection. Second, and most important, these woman, as well as nursing mothers, should always see their health care professional if they suspect a yeast infection rather than self-treat because yeast medications may interfere with medications needed for their other health problems (HIV, diabetes) or pose risks for the baby.
- If I’m pregnant, can a yeast infection hurt my developing baby?
No, but you do need to see your health care professional for treatment. Also, some treatments currently on the market, such as fluconazole (Diflucan), are not recommended during pregnancy. Be sure your health care professional and pharmacist are both aware that you are or may be pregnant.
- I keep getting recurrent yeast infections. Should my sexual partner be treated?
It’s not clear whether vaginal yeast infections can be transferred during sexual intercourse. However, if your sexual partner has the symptoms of candida—redness, irritation and/or itching at the tip of the penis in a male—he may need to be treated. In rare cases, treatment of partners of women with recurrent yeast infection is recommended. Additionally, recurrent yeast infections may be representative of a different problem. Thus, it is important to see your health care provider for an evaluation.
- I thought douching helped keep a woman clean. What is the risk in douching?
The healthy vaginal ecosystem requires just the right balance of bacteria flora. The vaginal mucosa, which protects against pathogens, is made up predominantly of healthy bacteria called lactobacillus. These bacteria make hydrogen peroxide, which keeps unhealthy bacteria from getting out of hand. This, in turn, keeps the amount of yeast at a normal level. Too much douching can disrupt the bacterial balance and lead to infection.
- My health care professional has prescribed antibiotics to treat an unrelated illness. What precautions should I take to avoid getting a yeast infection?
Wear loose clothing and loose cotton underwear. Keep yourself clean and dry. Avoid scented or irritating soaps, powders, and toilet tissue. Avoid douching. Use a preventive dose of yeast medication.
- Think twice before taking antibiotics
If you need to take antibiotics, you may wind up with a yeast infection. The use of antibiotics will frequently tip the balance among the normal microorganisms of the vagina, allowing harmful bacteria to dominate vaginal flora. Antibiotics suppress the growth of protective vaginal bacteria, which normally have an antifungal effect. Before rushing to the drugstore for an over-the-counter treatment, it’s wise to consult your health care professional. Many self-diagnosed yeast infections turn out to be other vaginal problems.
- Keep your vagina clean, dry and clear of deodorants and soaps
- Here are some simple steps you can take that may help you avoid yeast infections: Don’t douche or use feminine hygiene sprays, bubble bath or sanitary pads or tampons that contain deodorant. These items seem to affect the balance of acidity of the vagina, which can lead to an infection. Wearing cotton panties, avoiding tight-fitting clothing, avoiding regular use of panty liners and wiping from front to back after using the toilet can help you avoid yeast infections. Since the microorganisms responsible for yeast infections thrive in warm, moist environments, be sure to dry your genital area well after bathing and before getting dressed.
- Watch out for repeat symptoms
Women who get recurrent yeast infections may in fact be battling a more complicated infection that requires a longer course of treatment and/or a change in behaviors that may be at the root of the problem. If your symptoms last more than a few days or return promptly, ask your health care professional about a longer course of treatment (seven to 14 days with a topical antifungal therapy or three doses of fluconazole). You should also be sure to complete the full course of the medication, even after symptoms disappear. In addition, watch out for behaviors that can lead to recurrent yeast infections, such as using panty liners, panty hose or sexual lubricants or drinking cranberry juice.
- Consider switching your birth control method
Researchers believe that certain methods of birth control may be to blame for recurrent yeast infections. Spermicidal jellies and creams increase a woman’s susceptibility to infection by altering vaginal flora, allowing candida (yeast microorganisms) to take firmer hold. It seems that the estrogen in oral contraceptives causes the vagina to produce more glycogen (sugar), which feeds the yeast. Vaginal sponges and intrauterine devices (IUDs) may also make you more prone to infection, and diaphragms are thought to promote colonization of candida.
Organizations and Support
For information and support on coping with Yeast Infections, please see the recommended organizations, books and Spanish-language resources listed below.
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG)
Address: 409 12th Street, SW
P.O. Box 96920
Washington, DC 20090
Email: [email protected]
The Candida Albican Yeast-Free Cookbook: How Good Nutrition Can Help Fight the Epidemic of Yeast-Related Diseases
by Pat Connolly and Associates of the Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation
Chronic Candidiasis: Your Natural Guide to Healing with Diet, Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs, Exercise, and Other Natural Methods
by Michael T. Murray
Complete Candida Yeast Guidebook, Revised 2nd Edition: Everything You Need to Know About Prevention, Treatment & Diet
by Jeanne Marie Martin and Zoltan P. Rona M.D.
Family Doctor American Academy of Family Physicians
Address: American Heart Association
7272 Greenville Avenue
Dallas, TX 75231
Email: [email protected]
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Address: Centros para el Control y la Prevencion de Enfermedades
P.O. Box 6003
Rockville, MD 20849
Email: [email protected]
Types, Symptoms, Causes, Treatments, Prevention & Relief
What is balanitis?
Balanitis is pain and inflammation (swelling and irritation) of the glans (head) of the penis that happens most often in uncircumcised males. Circumcision is a procedure performed to remove skin (the foreskin) from the head of the penis (the glans). Balanitis is typically caused by a yeast infection, however it can be due to a bacterial or viral infection. It’s not contagious.
How common is balanitis?
It’s estimated that up to 10% of males will have balanitis during their lifetime. Balanitis is more likely to occur in uncircumcised men and boys under the age of 4.
What are the types of balanitis?
Balanitis is classified into three types:
- Balanitis (also called Zoon’s balanitis): This is the main type of balanitis, it usually affects uncircumcised, middle-aged men and causes an inflamed, red penis head.
- Circinate balanitis: This type of balanitis is a result of reactive arthritis, a type of arthritis that develops in response to an infection in the body. In addition to inflammation and redness, circinate balanitis causes small lesions (sores) on the head of the penis.
- Pseudoepitheliomatous keratotic and micaceous balanitis: This very rare form of balanitis causes scaly warts on the glans. It affects men over 60.
Who is affected by balanitis?
Balanitis primarily affects uncircumcised males because the moist, warm area under the foreskin is the ideal place for yeast and bacteria to grow. It can occur at any age and is more common in males who have phimosis (tight foreskin that does not easily move over the head of the penis). Groups with a higher risk of balanitis include men who:
- Practice poor hygiene.
- Are middle-aged or older.
- Have diabetes, because the increased glucose (sugar) on their skin can stimulate bacterial and fungal growth.
- Are obese.
- Have sexually transmitted diseases.
- Have a sensitivity to chemical irritants.
Symptoms and Causes
How do people get balanitis?
The most common cause of balanitis is poor hygiene in uncircumcised males. Other causes include:
- Genital yeast infection (candidiasis).
- Sexually transmitted diseases.
- Scabies (tiny burrowing parasite) infection.
- Sensitivity or allergy to harsh soaps or chemicals.
- Skin conditions that cause itchy, dry, scaly skin (such as psoriasis and eczema).
- Reactive arthritis, a type of arthritis that develops in response to an infection somewhere in the body.
What are the symptoms of balanitis?
Symptoms of balanitis may appear suddenly or develop gradually. They can include:
- Pain and irritation on the glans (head of the penis).
- Redness or red patches on the penis.
- Itching under the foreskin.
- Areas of shiny or white skin on the penis.
- White discharge (smegma) under the foreskin
- Foul smell.
- Painful urination.
- Sores or lesions on the glans (this symptom is rare and appears with a type of balanitis that affects men over age 60).
Diagnosis and Tests
How is balanitis diagnosed?
Healthcare providers diagnose balanitis with a physical examination to determine if an infection is causing your symptoms. Your provider may swab your urethral opening (the hole at the tip of the penis) and send the sample to a lab for testing. Your provider may also order a urine or blood test to check for diabetes and other infections.
How do I know if I have balanitis?
If you have pain, irritation, and redness on your penis, you may have balanitis. The risk increases if you are uncircumcised. See your provider for treatment and to determine what is causing your symptoms. Other conditions (such as HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases) can cause a rash and redness on the penis. It’s important to see your provider to get tested.
Management and Treatment
What are the treatments for balanitis?
The treatment for balanitis depends on what is causing the condition. Treatments can include:
- Antifungal creams: If a yeast infection is causing balanitis, your provider will prescribe an antifungal cream such as clotrimazole to treat the infection. You will need to apply the cream to the glans (head of the penis) and foreskin as prescribed.
- Antibiotics: If a sexually transmitted disease is the cause of your symptoms, your provider will treat the infection with antibiotics. The antibiotic will depend on the type of infection.
- Improved hygiene: Your provider will recommend that you wash and dry under your foreskin often to reduce the risk of balanitis returning.
- Diabetes management: If you have diabetes, your provider will show you how to manage the condition.
- Circumcision: If you have recurring symptoms of balanitis, your provider may recommend circumcision. Circumcision is a surgical procedure in which a provider removes the foreskin covering the penis. Providers recommend this treatment most often for men who have an especially tight foreskin (phimosis).
What are the complications associated with balanitis?
Untreated balanitis can cause chronic (long-term) inflammation (redness and irritation). Lasting inflammation can cause health issues, including:
- Balanoposthitis: Balanitis can lead to balanoposthitis (inflammation of the foreskin and glans). This only occurs in uncircumcised males. Signs of balanoposthitis include itching, irritation, and swollen foreskin and glans. Balanoposthitis occurs more often in males who have diabetes or a tight foreskin.
- Balanitis xerotica obliterans (BXO): Also called lichen sclerosus, BXO occurs when skin on the glans hardens and turns white. The hard tissue can make it difficult or impossible for urine and semen to flow through the urethra (the tube that allows fluids to exit the penis).
- Phimosis: Long-term inflammation can lead to scarring on the penis, which can cause the foreskin to become constricted. The foreskin can become so tight that it cannot retract (pull back) over the glans.
What can I do to help relieve symptoms of balanitis?
To ease the irritation and inflammation of balanitis, you should:
- Bathe often: Wash every day. Be sure to pull your foreskin back so you can clean underneath.
- Avoid harsh soaps: Try not to use strong soap or lotions that can irritate your skin.
- Stay dry: After urinating, dry the area under the foreskin so urine doesn’t become trapped under the foreskin.
- Teach proper hygiene: Teach boys appropriate hygiene, especially if they are uncircumcised.
How can you prevent balanitis?
Preventing balanitis begins with practicing proper hygiene. To prevent balanitis, you should bathe often. Take the time to pull back your foreskin and clean underneath. Always use a condom when having sex to avoid contracting a sexually transmitted disease that can cause balanitis.
Outlook / Prognosis
What is the outlook for patients who have balanitis?
Most men with balanitis recover with treatment. For men who are not circumcised, it is common for balanitis to return after treatment. The risk increases when men do not practice good hygiene, such as cleaning under the foreskin.
When should I call my healthcare provider about balanitis?
If you have symptoms of balanitis, you should visit your provider. Your provider will test you for infection and recommend good hygiene practices.
Vulvovaginal Candidiasis – STI Treatment Guidelines
The creams and suppositories in these regimens are oil based and might weaken latex condoms and diaphragms. Patients should refer to condom product labeling for further information. Even women who have previously received a diagnosis of VVC by a clinician are not necessarily more likely to be able to diagnose themselves; therefore, any woman whose symptoms persist after using an over-the-counter preparation or who has a recurrence of symptoms <2 months after treatment for VVC should be evaluated clinically and tested. Unnecessary or unapproved use of over-the-counter preparations is common and can lead to a delay in treatment of other vulvovaginitis etiologies, which can result in adverse outcomes. No substantial evidence exists to support using probiotics or homeopathic medications for treating VVC.
Follow-up typically is not required. However, women with persistent or recurrent symptoms after treatment should be instructed to return for follow-up visits.
Management of Sex Partners
Uncomplicated VVC is not usually acquired through sexual intercourse, and data do not support treatment of sex partners. A minority of male sex partners have balanitis, characterized by erythematous areas on the glans of the penis in conjunction with pruritus or irritation. These men benefit from treatment with topical antifungal agents to relieve symptoms.
Drug Allergy, Intolerance, and Adverse Reactions
Topical agents usually cause no systemic side effects, although local burning or irritation might occur. Oral azoles occasionally cause nausea, abdominal pain, and headache. Therapy with the oral azoles has rarely been associated with abnormal elevations of liver enzymes. Clinically important interactions can occur when oral azoles are administered with other drugs (1141).
Complicated Vulvovaginal Candidiasis
Vaginal culture or PCR should be obtained from women with complicated VVC to confirm clinical diagnosis and identify non–albicans Candida. Candida glabrata does not form pseudohyphae or hyphae and is not easily recognized on microscopy. C. albicans azole resistance is becoming more common in vaginal isolates (1144,1145), and non–albicans Candida is intrinsically resistant to azoles; therefore, culture and susceptibility testing should be considered for patients who remain symptomatic.
Recurrent Vulvovaginal Candidiasis
Recurrent VVC, usually defined as three or more episodes of symptomatic VVC in <1 year, affects <5% of women but carries a substantial economic burden (1146). Recurrent VVC can be either idiopathic or secondary (related to frequent antibiotic use, diabetes, or other underlying host factors). The pathogenesis of recurrent VVC is poorly understood, and the majority of women with recurrent VVC have no apparent predisposing or underlying conditions. C. glabrata and other non–albicans Candida species are observed in 10%–20% of women with recurrent VVC. Conventional antimycotic therapies are not as effective against these non–albicans yeasts as against C. albicans.
Most episodes of recurrent VVC caused by C. albicans respond well to short-duration oral or topical azole therapy. However, to maintain clinical and mycologic control, a longer duration of initial therapy (e.g., 7–14 days of topical therapy or a 100-mg, 150-mg, or 200-mg oral dose of fluconazole every third day for a total of 3 doses [days 1, 4, and 7]) is recommended, to attempt mycologic remission, before initiating a maintenance antifungal regimen.
Oral fluconazole (i.e., a 100-mg, 150-mg, or 200-mg dose) weekly for 6 months is the indicated maintenance regimen. If this regimen is not feasible, topical treatments used intermittently can also be considered. Suppressive maintenance therapies are effective at controlling recurrent VVC but are rarely curative long-term (1147). Because C. albicans azole resistance is becoming more common, susceptibility tests, if available, should be obtained among symptomatic patients who remain culture positive despite maintenance therapy. These women should be managed in consultation with a specialist.
Severe Vulvovaginal Candidiasis
Severe VVC (i.e., extensive vulvar erythema, edema, excoriation, and fissure formation) is associated with lower clinical response rates among patients treated with short courses of topical or oral therapy. Either 7–14 days of topical azole or 150 mg of fluconazole in two sequential oral doses (second dose 72 hours after initial dose) is recommended.
albicans Vulvovaginal Candidiasis
Because approximately 50% of women with a positive culture for non–albicans Candida might be minimally symptomatic or have no symptoms, and because successful treatment is often difficult, clinicians should make every effort to exclude other causes of vaginal symptoms for women with non–albicans yeast (1148). The optimal treatment of non–albicans VVC remains unknown; however, a longer duration of therapy (7–14 days) with a nonfluconazole azole regimen (oral or topical) is recommended. If recurrence occurs, 600 mg of boric acid in a gelatin capsule administered vaginally once daily for 3 weeks is indicated. This regimen has clinical and mycologic eradication rates of approximately 70% (1149). If symptoms recur, referral to a specialist is advised.
Management of Sex Partners
No data exist to support treating sex partners of patients with complicated VVC. Therefore, no recommendation can be made.
Women with underlying immunodeficiency, those with poorly controlled diabetes or other immunocompromising conditions (e.g., HIV), and those receiving immunosuppression therapy (e.g., corticosteroid treatment) might not respond as well to short-term therapies. Efforts to correct modifiable conditions should be made, and more prolonged (i.e., 7–14 days) conventional treatment is necessary.
VVC occurs frequently during pregnancy. Only topical azole therapies, applied for 7 days, are recommended for use among pregnant women. Epidemiologic studies indicate a single 150-mg dose of fluconazole might be associated with spontaneous abortion (1150) and congenital anomalies; therefore, it should not be used (1151).
Vaginal Candida colonization rates among women with HIV infection are higher than among women without HIV with similar demographic and risk behavior characteristics, and the colonization rates correlate with increasing severity of immunosuppression (1152). Symptomatic VVC is also more frequent among women with HIV infection and similarly correlates with severity of immunodeficiency (1153). In addition, among women with HIV, systemic azole exposure is associated with isolation of non–albicans Candida species from the vagina.
Treatment for uncomplicated and complicated VVC among women with HIV infection should not differ from that for women who do not have HIV. Although long-term prophylactic therapy with fluconazole 200 mg weekly has been effective in reducing C. albicans colonization and symptomatic VVC (1154), this regimen is not recommended for women with HIV infection in the absence of complicated VVC (98). Although VVC is associated with increased HIV seroconversion among HIV-negative women and increased HIV cervicovaginal levels among women with HIV infection, the effect of treatment for VVC on HIV acquisition and transmission remains unknown.
Candida Infections of the Genitourinary Tract
Treatment of VVC
Treatment recommendations for VVC are separated into treatment of uncomplicated VVC caused by C. albicans and of complicated VVC, which includes RVVC, severe VVC, VVC caused by non-C. albicans species, and VVC in immunocompromised hosts (189, 287). In cases of complicated VVC, contributing factors such as diabetes or behavioral factors should be controlled or avoided. Treatment should not differ on the basis of HIV infection (189).
Treatment of uncomplicated VVC.
Successful treatment of uncomplicated VVC is achieved with single-dose or short-course therapy in over 90% of cases. Several topical and oral drugs are available, without evidence for superiority of any agent or route of administration (189), although among the topically applied drugs, azoles are more effective than nystatin (287). Table summarizes the intravaginal treatment options recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA). As an oral agent, fluconazole at 150 mg as a one-time dose is recommended for uncomplicated VVC (189, 287). Because oral and topical antimycotics have shown to achieve equivalent results for the treatment of VVC (276), both fluconazole given orally and topical agents have received the same recommendation in the IDSA guidelines (A-1), and no preference is given to either treatment (189).
Intravaginal agents for treatment of uncomplicated VVC
|Drug||Formulation||Dose||Duration (days)||Prescription status|
|Butoconazole||2% cream||5 g daily||3||OTC|
|2% sustained release cream||5 g||1||Prescription|
|Clotrimazole||1% cream||5 g daily||7||OTC|
|2% cream||5 g daily||3||OTC|
|100-mg vaginal tablet||1 tablet||7||OTC|
|100-mg vaginal tablet||2 tablets||3||OTC|
|Miconazole||2% cream||5 g daily||7||OTC|
|100-mg vaginal suppository||1 suppository||7||OTC|
|200-mg vaginal suppository||1 suppository||3||OTC|
|1,200-mg vaginal suppository||1 suppository||1||OTC|
|Nystatin||100,000-unit vaginal tablet||1 tablet||14||Prescription|
|Tioconazole||6.5% ointment||5 g||1||OTC|
|Terconazole||0.8% cream||5 g||7||Prescription|
|0.8% cream||5 g||3||Prescription|
|80-mg vaginal suppository||1 suppository||3||Prescription|
Treatment of complicated VVC and RVVC.
Complicated VVC with azole-susceptible strains requires topical therapy administered intravaginally daily for at least 7 days or multiple doses of oral fluconazole (150 mg every 72 h for three doses) (234, 240). In cases of RVVC, this regimen followed by long-term weekly treatment with fluconazole at 150 mg orally has shown to significantly reduce recurrence rates compared to three doses of fluconazole alone (242). Long-term suppressive therapy with oral fluconazole is the most convenient and well-tolerated regimen among other options and was shown to be effective in over 90% of patients with RVVC. Against expectations, patients on suppressive therapy with fluconazole have shown little evidence of developing fluconazole resistance in C. albicans isolates or superinfection with non-C. albicans species (226, 242). However, species identification and MIC testing should be performed in women experiencing breakthrough or refractory infection. Other oral treatment options that have been shown to be effective for RVVC with azole-susceptible strains include suppressive therapy with ketoconazole (100 mg daily) (232) and with itraconazole (200 mg twice daily for one day each month) (286). However, because of liver toxicity associated with oral ketoconazole (148), other regimens are now preferred as maintenance therapy. For women with RVVC who prefer topical to oral drugs, clotrimazole (500-mg suppositories weekly or 200-mg suppositories twice weekly) is recommended (189), although the 500-mg formulation is no longer available in the United States. Alternatively, other forms of topical maintenance therapy can be considered, without data supporting the use of a specific topical formulation. Patients on no maintenance therapy have a recurrence rate of over 70% within the first 6 months after successful treatment of VVC (233), while a 40% to 50% recurrence rate after a 12-month cessation of maintenance therapy has to be anticipated (242). Non-C. albicans-related disease is less likely to respond to azole therapy (184). Vaginal boric acid, administered in a gelatin capsule at a dosage of 600 mg daily for 14 days, cures up to 70% of C. glabrata infections (238). Treatment with AmB suppositories (50 mg nightly for 14 days) is another option with minimal side effects that has shown to be successful in 70% of women with non-C. albicans VVC, mostly due to C. glabrata, that did not respond to azole treatment (197). Other alternatives include topical 17% flucytosine cream alone or in combination with 3% AmB cream administered daily for 14 days, albeit at considerable expense due to the high cost of flucytosine (189). Of note is that all the treatment options for non-C. albicans VVC need to be compounded.
Probiotics and other alternative methods for treatment of RVVC.
Many women with RVVC turn to probiotics or alternative methods as adjunct or sole therapy to control their recurrences. Most probiotics, in oral or topical formulation, contain lactobacilli, which are felt to inhibit or reduce the growth of Candida in the vaginal tract. While some clinical trials support the effectiveness of certain lactobacilli, others do not, and most are limited by methodological problems (83). There are a number of other nonconventional methods available, but these have not been assessed in well-designed randomized clinical trials (275). One recently published randomized clinical trial showed that monthly oral itraconazole treatment was significantly more effective in preventing recurrent episodes of VVC than a homeopathic regimen and that an L. acidophilus-containing agent applied intravaginally did not add any benefit to itraconazole treatment alone (286).
Treatment of Candiduria
The presence of yeast in the urine, whether microscopically visualized or grown in culture, must be evaluated in the context of the clinical setting to determine its relevance and make an appropriate decision about the need for antifungal therapy. Similar to the case for asymptomatic bacteriuria, there has been a revolving debate on whether and how to treat patients with candiduria (180). Several facts have to be taken into consideration. First, as outlined above, decreased survival of candiduric patients compared to matched control populations has been consistently reported. Second, large treatment trials with fluconazole have demonstrated that treatment clears only half of the patients successfully and has no impact on survival (241). Lastly, asymptomatic candiduria can resolve spontaneously or with catheter removal alone (241). High-risk patients can be treated with antifungal medication prophylactically. In neonatal ICU patients, especially those with low birth weight, fluconazole prophylaxis may prevent invasive candidiasis (111, 112), although another study concluded that mortality was similar among treated and untreated groups despite lower rates of colonization (135). In adult ICU patients, a recent large multicenter study could not exclude a relative benefit of fluconazole in up to a 32% difference in success (defined by the composite endpoint) between fluconazole and placebo recipients (224). However, the rates of invasive fungal infection in that study were low, and confidence limits were wide. In addition, their inclusion criteria required that the patients were febrile, and their outcome measurement constituted of four factors that made up a composite endpoint: resolution of the index fever, no emergent invasive fungal infection identified, no study medication treatment stopped for toxicity, and no use of alternative systemic antifungal medication. Other studies have reached different conclusions, but not all of them are generalizable to most ICU patients because they involve patients with very specific predisposing risk factors (100, 194).
Importantly, these studies did not report emergence of resistance. A concern with respect to overtreatment is that excessive treatment and prophylaxis may affect the overall microbiotome.
Fluconazole is the main drug used in candiduric adults and in neonates. Oral fluconazole therapy gives bioavailability of 90%, diffuses readily into all body sites, and is concentrated in the urine and skin (36, 37). The echinocandins have very few side effects but are poorly renally excreted (33), although there are a few animal studies and human case reports of successful treatment of persistent UTIs with resistant C. glabrata (6, 236). IDSA guidelines, however, do not currently recommend echinocandins for treatment of non-C. albicans candiduria because of very limited clinical data (189). Flucytosine, at a dosage of 25 mg/kg (rounded to the nearest 250 mg) orally four times daily, can also be used to treat cystitis (260). Because of its marrow suppressive effects, patients have to be monitored. Concerns about the development of treatment-emergent resistance reported for flucytosine may be less relevant for candiduria because of the high concentrations of the drug in the urine and the relatively short duration of therapy.
Bladder irrigation with a suspension of amphotericin B is rarely considered. This treatment is used mostly in patients with refractory cystitis due to azole-resistant organisms, such as C. glabrata and C. krusei. Although irrigation resolves candiduria in 90% of patients (127), relapse is frequent and experts advise against this treatment modality (75). A recent meta-analysis on amphotericin B bladder irrigation, which included 213 studies and 377 patients, demonstrated a higher clearance of candiduria at 24 h after amphotericin B bladder irrigation than with fluconazole treatment (265). This finding stands in contrast to two randomized studies on 53 and 106 elderly patients, which concluded that both treatments had similar percentages of clearance (86a, 128). The latter study, however, found a lower overall survival in patients treated with amphotericin B irrigation (128). It is noteworthy that IDSA recommendations advise against the usage of liposomal amphotericin B as a first choice in pyelonephritis because of presumed low drug levels in renal tissue and treatment failure of Candida pyelonephritis in animals as well as a few treated patients (7, 269).
Treatment of asymptomatic candiduria.
New updated IDSA guidelines (189) divide between asymptomatic and symptomatic candiduria, a distinction that as outlined could be challenging to make in certain clinical settings. If the candiduria is catheter associated, we often do not find the patients to be symptomatic or to exhibit leukocyturia (257, 258). The current guidelines recommend observation of asymptomatic patients and elimination of predisposing factors if feasible (133, 257). Specifically, removal of an indwelling catheter may be sufficient to eliminate candiduria without antifungal therapy. In contrast, asymptomatic patients with a high risk of dissemination, such as neutropenic patients and infants with low birth weight, should be treated with prolonged high-dose antifungal intravenous therapy. Also, urologic procedures enhance the risk for dissemination, and therefore candiduric patients should be treated before and after the procedure with fluconazole (dosage of 200 to 400 mg [3 to 6 mg/kg] daily). In selected cases (fluconazole-resistant non-C. albicans species), amphotericin can be administered (0.3 to 0.6 mg/kg daily). If indicated, imaging of the kidneys and collecting system to exclude abscess, fungus ball, or urologic abnormality is advised.
Treatment of symptomatic candiduria.
Treatment depends on the disease manifestation. Candida cystitis can be treated orally (200 mg per day for 14 days). Pyelonephritis is also treated with 200 to 400 mg per day for 2 weeks. As outlined, other azoles or echinocandins may not be useful because of minimal excretion of active drug into the urine. Azole-resistant Candida strains, such as C. glabrata, C. tropicalis, or C. krusei, are treated with alternative regimens. Standard amphotericin at a dosage of 0.5 to 0.7 mg/kg daily can be used with or without flucytosine at a dosage of 25 mg/kg four times daily. Complicated emphysematous UTIs have been described, especially in diabetic patients. These infections require aggressive management and often surgical intervention, as they can be life-threatening (58, 74, 211, 252, 254, 279). Also, successful treatment of perinephric abscess usually consists of percutaneous or surgical drainage of the abscess (114).
Treatment of other causes of candiduria.
Candida prostatitis and epididymo-orchitis are rare (23, 282) and usually require surgical drainage or other surgical debridement, in addition to antifungal therapy. Fluconazole is the agent of choice, but treatment recommendations are based on anecdotal data. Candidal bezoars or “fungus balls” in the urinary collecting system are described mainly in neonates (203). Aggressive surgical debridement is required in addition to systemic treatment with amphotericin (with or without flucytosine) or fluconazole (24, 55, 167). Debulking of the fungal mass and aggressive local irrigation with amphotericin and even streptokinase could be considered as an adjunct to systemic antifungal therapy if a percutaneous device provides direct access (17, 53, 227). Percutaneous nephrostomies can relieve the obstruction initially and also permit irrigation with antifungals (19). In some cases where irrigation via nephrostomy tubes failed, subsequent flank exploration and bilateral cutaneous calicostomies were performed and successfully eradicated persistent fungal disease (41). The patient’s urinary tract was successfully diverted and the fungal balls eradicated. It is noteworthy that nonsurgical management of neonatal obstructive uropathy can also be successful and may constitute an alternative, especially in neonates (169).
Lastly, it is important to note that these recommendations are based largely on expert opinions and committees and are only scarcely backed by randomized controlled studies. In addition, these guidelines are not followed consistently by treating physicians (51). Especially since new data now indicate that candiduria is underdiagnosed, it is our opinion that treatment regimens and outcome should be revisited, and studies that define asymptomatic and symptomatic candiduria are warranted.
90,000 The Truth Behind Common Beliefs About Yeast Infections
very common. In fact, 75 percent of women will experience
vaginal fungal infection
At some point in their lives, many women have recurrent infections. Regardless, there are still many myths about yeast infections – perhaps because symptoms such as itching, burning, and discharge are about to speak of.
Yeast Infection Causes
often misunderstood – to receive
doesn’t seem like catching a flu bug. Yeast infections are caused by a fungus
fungal microorganisms albicans
that lives naturally on our bodies. “Most of the time, this mushroom already lives in your
”Says Lisa M. Kricorian, Nurse Practitioner at the Gynecology Clinic at the Gynecology Hospital in Lahi Hospital; Medical Center in Burlington, Mass.”You get an infection when only the conditions are present that allow Candida to begin multiplying.”
Conditions upset by the natural balance in the vagina include excess moisture from wearing wet swimwear, tight-fitting pants and underpants made of nylon or other synthetic fabrics, irritation of your vaginal area, a weakened immune system from stress or illness, or taking certain medications.
Here we will dispel some of the other common myths about yeast infections:
Myth # 1: The presence of yeast always indicates a yeast infection.
If you have
Yeast infection symptoms
Your doctor may make a vaginal swab to look for yeast under a microscope. But since yeast usually lives in your vagina, your doctor will also look for signs like redness, swelling, and discharge.
Myth # 2: Perfumed products for women keep the vagina fresh.
Another common misconception is that making up or using femininity
Sprayers and powders can protect against yeast infections.“Coming up with or using perfumed soaps can increase your risk of getting a yeast infection,” says Krikorianets. The best way for women to
The infection consists of washing the vaginal area daily with warm water or mild soap – do not use regular soap, spray, or shower – and then pat dry with a clean towel.
Myth # 3: Vaginal yeast infection in women is a sexually transmitted disease (STD).
Although it is possible to transfer
yeast infection through sexual contact
this is very rare and yeast infections are not considered
Myth # 4: Men don’t get yeast infections.
Male yeast infections
Rarely, up to 15 percent of men may experience redness, itching, or burning due to a yeast infection on the penis after having unprotected sex with a woman who has an active yeast infection.Men who are uncircumcised may be at slightly higher risk. Diabetes, a weakened immune system, and
use may also increase the risk
yeast infection in men
Myth # 5: Only adults get yeast infections.
Yeast exists on everyone’s body, and like adults, the right conditions can cause excessive regeneration and infection in children.“Yeast infections can grow in any warm and humid area,” says Kricorian. “Young girls can get a yeast infection, and yeast infections are a common cause of diapers.
in babies “.
Yeast Infection Symptoms: A Self-Diagnosis Problem
Yeast infections can be treated with transformation (OTC) medications, which makes many people think they might start
whenever they experience symptoms.However, self-diagnosing a yeast infection can be dangerous because the symptoms of a yeast infection are similar to other, more serious ones.
Withdrawal About two-thirds of women who use OTC products do not actually have a yeast infection.
Yeast infections become more resistant to OTC antifungal medications, and using these medications when you don’t have a yeast infection may increase your risk of getting a drug-resistant yeast infection in the future.Talk to your doctor
If you are pregnant
Experiencing your first yeast infection, not sure if your symptoms are a yeast infection or having symptoms that do not respond to the OTC medication.
Yeast infections are common, easy-to-treat infections that can occur for many reasons. And knowing the truth about them is your best defense.
90,000 Causes and Symptoms of Male Yeast Infection
Yeast infections are often viewed as a female health problem because vaginal candidiasis is a common problem.Although yeast infections are less common in men, anyone can get it, regardless of gender or age.1 Most yeast infections resolve on their own or within a few days after treatment.
Candidal balanitis or thrush is the most common type of thrush in men. This type of balanitis usually causes inflammation of the tip of the penis2. In uncircumcised men, yeast can also infect the foreskin, a condition called candidal balanoposthitis.
Candida yeast causes up to 35% of all cases of balanitis. But yeast infections in men are not well understood, and researchers are not sure how many men are affected each year.
Symptoms of male yeast infection
Unlike yeast infections in women, men usually do not experience symptoms. However, once symptoms do appear, they can cause severe discomfort and pain.
Symptoms of a yeast infection in men include:
- Burning sensation during urination (dysuria)
- Ulcers on the foreskin of the penis with cracking or bleeding of the foreskin
- Irritation and itching
- White, lumpy discharge with an unpleasant odor
- Discomfort during intercourse
- Redness and inflammation in the upper part of the penis
- Small rash-like bumps that may contain pus
- Spots of white, shiny skin on the upper part of the penis.
Causes and risk factors
Many men will contract a yeast infection through sexual contact with their female partner, as women are more susceptible to yeast infections. Although the organisms that cause the infection can be sexually transmitted, balanitis is not considered a sexually transmitted infection because men can get the infection without having sex.
Other causes and potential risk factors for male yeast infections6 include:
- Poor hygiene
- Diabetic, as men with diabetes have an increased amount of sugar in their urine, which can contribute to the growth of yeast.
- Long-term use of antibiotics that reduce probiotics, which promotes the growth of Candida
- Weakened immune system due to illness and chronic disease, which allows Candida to spread.
- Use of soaps and skin care products that irritate the skin.
- Wearing tight underwear or wet clothing.
- Hot and humid environments
- Condoms containing lubricants
- Spermicide use
When to see a doctor
Untreated and severe yeast infections of the penis can potentially cause chronic prostatitis.7 Chronic balanitis can also lead to narrowing or tightening of the foreskin (phimosis), narrowing of the opening of the urethra (passageway) or other skin changes (obliterating xerotic balanitis), leukoplakia).
Men who have never had a yeast infection or who have severe symptoms should undergo a medical examination. It is also important to see a doctor when the infection persists on its own and to rule out other problems, including diabetes and other conditions that cause a weakened immune system.
If the fungal infection is serious, a swab from the upper part of the penis or foreskin is sent to a laboratory for analysis. If the ulcers do not heal, a biopsy may be needed.
Most mild yeast infections do not require treatment. Antifungal creams or oral medications can help manage symptoms.8 These medications are available over the counter (OTC) or by prescription.
Men who have not previously received treatment for a yeast infection should see a doctor before treating themselves with an OTC antifungal drug for the first time.
Good hygiene practices can help prevent and even cure yeast infections. It is recommended that you regularly wash your penis with plain warm water, avoiding shower gels and soaps, and then dry well.
Men should never use perfumed shower gels or genital soaps. Wearing loose cotton underwear or boxers and keeping your genitals cool and dry at all times can also prevent yeast growth.
Word from Verywell
Male yeast infections are rare. But they do affect men and can have unpleasant and painful symptoms. Understanding what causes these infections and their symptoms can help in prevention, diagnosis, and treatment.
Prolonged and severe symptoms should be brought to the attention of a physician. If both partners have symptoms of a yeast infection, it is important that both are healed to avoid reinfecting each other.
90,000 Thrush in men: symptoms, treatment and more
Thrush is a type of yeast infection caused by Candida albicans that can develop in the mouth and throat, on the skin, or particularly on the genitals. Yeast infections on the genitals are more common in women but also occur in men.
Male yeast infections can affect the glans of the penis. Genital yeast infections are more common in uncircumcised men.This is because the conditions of the foreskin are conducive to fungal colonization.
Yeast infections on the skin can usually be treated with an over-the-counter antifungal cream.
Symptoms of thrush
Male yeast infection leads to balanitis, which is an inflammation of the tip (glans) of the penis. Typical symptoms of a male yeast infection include the following:
- redness, itching and burning on the head of the penis and under the foreskin
- white discharge from the site of infection, resembling curd
- unpleasant odor
- It is difficult to move the foreskin
- pain and irritation during sex
- pain when urinating
Causes of thrush
Most yeast infections in men are caused by the fungus Candida albicans.Yeast is a type of fungus.
Candida albicans is a natural inhabitant of your body. In a warm, humid environment, an opportunistic fungus can grow faster than your body’s immune defenses can control. This can lead to yeast overgrowth.
Places where fungal infections usually take root:
- mouth, throat and esophagus – yeast infections are commonly referred to here as oral thrush
- creases in the skin, in the armpits or between the toes
- under the foreskin and on the head of the penis
Factors that increase the likelihood of a yeast infection include:
- poor hygiene
- obesity, as folds in the skin create good conditions for the development of thrush
- Diabetes mellitus, because high blood sugar can help establish yeast infections
- a weakened immune system caused by severe infections such as HIV infection, cancer treatment, or taking immunosuppressants, for example
- long-term use of antibiotics
Is thrush a sexually transmitted infection (STI)?
Thrush is not considered an STI, but men can sometimes get thrush from intercourse with a woman who has a yeast infection. In this case, both partners will need treatment so that others do not have problems with genital milk jug.
If you suspect thrush, see your doctor.
Your doctor will be able to rule out the possibility of an STI and confirm that the problem is a yeast infection. An infection can usually be diagnosed based on the symptoms and appearance of the site of infection, as well as using a potassium hydroxide preparation to look at the yeast under a microscope.
If your doctor suspects an STI in the genital area, you may also need laboratory tests.
Treatment of thrush
If you have previously had a yeast infection and recognize the symptoms, you can treat them yourself with an OTC antifungal cream. Apply the antifungal cream usually twice a day.
Anti-corticosteroid cream in addition to antifungal cream may help with itching and swelling. But you might want to ask your doctor about using it before doing this, as the corticosteroid can allow the yeast infection to linger and even get worse.
A common first-line option for treating male yeast infections not involving the penis is a topical cream containing clotrimazole (Lotrimin A.F., Desenex) or miconazole (Base). These are the same over-the-counter medications used to treat fungal infections of the feet in athletes.
If you have any adverse reactions, your doctor may prescribe nystatin cream for you.
Men with severe yeast infections or penile lesions may need to take an antifungal tablet, such as fluconazole (Diflucan), which is available with a doctor’s prescription.
Recovery from this state
Using an antifungal cream should control the infection within a couple of weeks. Avoid sex to avoid irritating the area and spreading the infection to your partner. If you have sex, use a condom.
Once the infection has healed, take the following steps to prevent another yeast infection:
- Be sure to stretch the foreskin and wash the glans thoroughly every day.