You may have had a girlfriend or wife complain about having a horrible itching and burning sensation down below, but can men really “catch” or contraction yeast infections either from their partners or on their own? The answer is actually—YES—men can get yeast infections too.
After having sex with a female partner who has a vaginal yeast infection the bacterial overgrowth can be transferred to the penis and flourish if given the proper conditions. Men can also contract a yeast infection resulting in balanitis without having sexual intercourse at all. If the immune system is down and there is bacteria overgrowth, men can experience yeast infections.
Yeast infections are caused by a fungus called candida, which is normally present both on the skin and in the digestive tract. This is a “bad” bacteria that can cause leaky gut or infection if not kept in balance with “good” bacteria by ingesting enough probiotics. Maintaining the proper internal balance of good and bad bacteria can help prevent Candida Albican overgrowth that results in thrush.
A male yeast infection can lead to balanitis, which is a condition that causes inflammation of the head of the penis. This condition is more likely to occur if you are uncircumcised, as the extra foreskin around the penis maintains a nice, moist environment for the candida to thrive in.
Some symptoms of balanitis are: having a white substance trapped in the skin folds, shiny white patches on the penis, redness, itching, and/or burning on the penis. Yeast infections can be equally uncomfortable, though not as common, for men as they are for women.
Here are some risk factors that make men more likely to get a yeast infection that can lead to balanitis:
- Antibiotic use
- Autoimmune disease
- Above average BMI
- Poor hygiene in the genital area
- Attached foreskin
Luckily treatments for male yeast infections are easy and affordable. Over-the-counter antifungal creams can be useful to help relieve symptoms and cure yeast infections. A course of doctor prescribed anti-fungal medicine may be necessary if symptoms persist. The key to preventing reoccurring infections is to treat both yourself and your partner anytime one of you has symptoms of an infection. If one partner is treated and the other still has candida overgrowth on their genitals, the bacteria will continue to be passed back and forth until one partner has moist enough conditions for the bacteria to flourish into a full blow infection.