Male yeast infections are caused by the Candida yeast species, of which Candida albicans is the most common. Yeasts are fungal organisms that thrive in warm, moist protected areas. They are very common in the environment and within our bodies (often forming part of the gut intestinal flora) but can overgrow and evolve into uncomfortable yeast infections. In this article we describe different types of infection, their symptoms and how best to go about treating male yeast infection.
Three main types of male yeast infections
1) Penile yeast infections – Symptoms include irritation, itchiness and soreness of the head of the penis or the foreskin. A white, cheesy discharge that coats the surface of the penis tip is sometimes present. Red patchy sores near the head of the penis are also indicative of a male yeast infection. In very severe cases the condition can interfere with sex and develop to cause a blocked urethra making it difficult to urinate. The same Candida yeast causes vaginal thrush in women.
2) Intestinal yeast infections – An overgrowth of the Candida yeast in the gut that negatively affects the balance of bacteria. Common symptoms include bloating, indigestion, lethargy, aching muscles and joints, weight gain and even vague conditions that are harder to pin down such as ‘brain fog’.
3) Blood yeast infections – A rare but severe form of Candida when the organism has entered the bloodstream. This is most commonly seen in immune-compromised patients.
Causes and risk factors for male yeast infections
- Sex (vaginal or anal) with a partner who has a current yeast infection. So if you’re wondering can a man get a yeast infection from a women, the answer is “yes.” But note that celibate men can also suffer from yeast infections. (See more on yeast infection and sex)
- External use of strong soap detergents on the penis.
- Spandex or nylon jocks which can create damp, moist conditions by minimizing airflow around the genitalia.
- Wearing wet swimwear for long periods of time.
- Long term use of antibiotics.
- Diets that are high in sugar, carbohydrates or yeast.
- Diabetics are more susceptible (presumably because of elevated sugar levels).
- Conditions associated with Candida yeast infections include HIV/AIDS, cancer treatments, steroids, stress, and nutrient deficiency.
- Yeast infections are common in patients with weak or under developed immune systems.
How to cure male yeast infection
If the infection is isolated in the penis, most sufferers experience a reduction in their male yeast infection symptoms after applying a topical anti-fungal cream to the affected area. Others report success from the application of home remedies such as diluted vinegar and natural yogurt to the head of the penis as this can help restore the natural balance of flora. And homeopathic remedies such as Yeastrol are useful for easing the symptoms and are widely used for male yeast infection treatment.
For Candida of the gut, diet based treatments such as following a yeast fee diet to deliver a Candida cleanse are recommended. Most Candida diets recommend taking probiotic supplements. Read more on the best probiotic brands.
Broad-spectrum prescription antifungal agents (also called antimycotics) such as Diflucan (fluconazole) are also available (although there have been some reports of resistance of Candida albicans to antimycotioc drugs).
Interested in learning more? Head over to this page on how to get rid of a yeast infection and remember that if you suspect you have an infection it is very important to seek medical advice to ensure that the male yeast infection cure you choose will be effective at treating your condition.