Yeast Infections in Men: What to Know

1 Answer
Vandana Annavaram

Yeast is a type of fungus that belongs to the eukaryotic group of microorganisms. The microorganisms are known best for their use in the fermentation processes. Besides playing a major role in the fermentation process of food and beverages, and across industries, yeast have a great impact on human health too. And any overgrowth of these microbes in the human body may lead to infections.

In this tutorial, we will focus on how yeast infection affects men and all that you need to know about it.

Yeast Infections in Men

Yeast causes severe infections of the skin, nails, intestine, genitals, and urinary tract. Yeast infections of the genitals affect the private parts of the male and female body. Primarily, it was only observed that women suffer from vaginal yeast infections often but a person with male genitals can also develop infections caused by fungi.

Answer Image

Penile Yeast Infections

In males, the infection is known as the penile yeast infection which infects the penis and the testicles of the male reproductive system. The causative agent for this problem is called Candida balanitis. Moist or warm conditions influence the growth and survival of the fungus present in the foreskin of the penis. The infection is most common in people having an uncircumcised penis as it provides damp conditions for the infectious agent to grow.

The yeast causes inflammation in the head region of the penis causing immense pain and discomfort. It is estimated that 1 in 25 people having male genitalia contract the infection. This is more infectious for uncircumcised people because when the foreskin of the head region isn’t removed, a condition known as phimosis occurs. This means that males cannot move their foreskin over their penis backward. Thus, this creates a moist environment for the yeast to multiply and its overgrowth leads to male penile infection.

Causes and Symptoms of Yeast Infection in Men

The infection may affect any person belonging to any age group. When the yeast overgrows, it goes deeper into the skin layers of the penis which causes symptoms like rashes, burning sensation, itching, and redness. The presence of blisters on the surface of the penis and constant irritation may cause discomfort to the person.

The infection is also accompanied by a thick white discharge emanating an unpleasant smell. White spots appear on the penis head which could spread if not treated. It becomes very problematic for the person in an attempt to pull the foreskin back as it causes immense pain. Sexual activities can also be very painful. Due to the inflammation, the urethra tends to dilate which may cause a burning sensation while urinating.

There are many reasons that cause penile yeast infection. We will discuss a few major ones below −

  • It could be contracted if a person is suffering from a sexually transmitted disease.

  • Diabetic people are more at risk of contracting the infection.

  • People diagnosed with STDs have a weaker immune system causing them to be more prone to penile yeast infections.

  • The use of bathing products having a lot of fragrance when in contact with the male genital can cause irritation on the skin aiding in yeast multiplication.

  • Hygiene plays a very important role that can promote the overgrowth of infectious microorganisms. Another factor could be the intake of strong medication causing the friendly microorganisms to die which could have helped prevent the overgrowth of yeast.

Treatment of Yeast Infections

Treatments include anti-fungal medications known as azoles for people suffering from penile yeast infections. There are plenty of OTC or over-the-counter drugs namely, Monistat, Lotrimin, or oral tablets such as Diflucan for the treatment. If the medications do not show any positive results, it might be possible that the yeast has become resistant to azole compounds. Patients should consult a doctor for a further detailed medical examination.

  • The most basic way to help prevent genital yeast infections is by maintaining regular hygiene and keeping the area dry.

  • Another method to reduce the risks of penile yeast infections is by having a circumcision procedure performed. This also reduces the risk of moisture in the penile area.

  • At last, if the symptoms get worse or medical treatments do not show positive results, it is best to consult a doctor to find the underlying cause of the problem.

  • In some cases, yeast infections are promoted by other microorganisms such as bacteria or viruses that are not identified. Treatment for such causes includes anti-bacterial or anti-fungal medications to help relieve the symptoms.

  • The most common medications used to treat yeast infections in men are antifungal creams, ointments, or tablets that can be applied topically or taken orally. Examples include Clotrimazole, Miconazole, Terconazole, Fluconazole, And Nystatin.

It is important to consult a doctor and get a proper diagnosis to ensure that the treatment is appropriate for the specific type of infection. It is often observed that penile yeast infections can cure on their own after following certain hygienic methods but they may spread to other parts of the body such as the scrotum and the skin of the backside.

How to Stop the Spread of Yeast Infection?

On a concluding note, let us consider a few pointers that can help curb the spread of yeast infection −

  • Practice good hygiene − This includes washing the genital area daily with soap and water, as well as drying thoroughly.

  • Avoid tight clothing − Wearing loose-fitting clothing can help prevent the growth of yeast.

  • Avoid sharing personal items − Do not share towels, razors, or underwear with others to avoid spreading the infection.

  • Treat the infection − Follow the treatment plan recommended by a doctor to effectively treat the yeast infection and prevent it from spreading.

  • Practice safe sex − Use a condom during sexual activity to reduce the risk of transmission.

  • Maintain a healthy diet − A diet high in sugar and processed foods can contribute to the growth of yeast. Eating a balanced diet can help maintain overall health and prevent yeast infections.

Once treatment starts, a person with a penile yeast infection may start observing improvement in a couple of days. If the symptoms do not reduce and worsen, taking a doctor’s advice is highly recommended.

Related Questions
Top Writers