Can Men Get Yeast Infections?

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While yeast infections aren't as common in men as in women, men certainly can get a yeast infection. Yeast infections, also known as candidiasis, are caused by fungus called Candida albicans, as explained by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). This fungus typically develops on healthy human skin and especially in warm, dark and moist areas such as the genitals, mouth and digestive tract. Most of the time, this type of fungus doesn't cause any problems. However, if it grows to a high enough level, it will cause a yeast infection.

Causes of Yeast Infection In Men
While yeast infection isn't considered a sexually transmitted disease (STD), it can be passed from one person to another through frequent sexual intercourse. About 15 percent of males who have sexual intercourse with women who have candidal vaginitis get a yeast infection on the tip of the penis, according to HHS. This causes an inflammation on the head of the penis known as balanitis. Men who haven't been circumcised are at an increased risk of getting this condition.

Other causes of male yeast infection, as cited by WebMD include:

  • Antibiotic use for prolonged periods
  • Irritating deodorants or soaps
  • Wearing tight-fitting clothes
  • Any exposure to a hot or humid environment
  • Diabetes
  • Poor hygiene
  • Being overweight
  • Weak immune system due to diseases like HIV

Yeast infection in men causes a range of symptoms, but the most common is the irritation on the tip of the penis or foreskin. Men may also feel a burning sensation that's similar to that experienced during a urinary tract infection. Typically, there's no white discharge as there is for women, but in some instances a discharge occurs which is thick, white and has a foul odor, explains WebMD.

Other symptoms of a male yeast infection include:

  • Difficulty in pulling back the foreskin
  • Trouble getting or keeping an erection
  • Having a shiny, white skin on the penis

Yeast infection often goes away by itself, even if it's not treated. However, it can sometimes affect other parts, including the scrotum, inner thighs and buttocks. Fortunately, it can simply be treated with a prescription or over-the-counter anti-fungal cream. This should be applied to the head of the penis and under the foreskin until the symptoms go away. The treatment could take about seven to 10 days, depending on the severity of the problem, counsels WebMD. Physicians may recommend patients avoid sexual intercourse until the treatment is over. If itching causes a problem, physicians may also prescribe a corticosteroid (steroid) cream to alleviate it. If the corticosteroid cream doesn't remove the infection, patients should let their physicians know right away for further diagnosis.

Yeast infections are invasive if the patient has a weak immune system. There's a chance that the fungus can spread into the bloodstream. This is a serious condition known as invasive candidiasis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. An upset stomach, frequent headache, chills and high fever are all symptoms that the yeast infection may have spread. Patients are advised to consult their physicians right away if these symptoms occur.