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29 Feb 2016

How to Spot the Signs of Thrush in Men

Thrush is often wrongly thought of as a problem that only affects women, but it can affect men too, causing some rather unpleasant symptoms in the genital area.

thrush in men

If you’re a man and suspect you may have a yeast infection, read on for information about the possible symptoms of thrush in men, as well as its causes, and treatments for thrush to help you feel better quickly.

Symptoms of thrush in men

If the area under your foreskin is sore and you’ve noticed a discharge from your penis, you may be thinking the worst and assume that you have an STI, but have you considered whether you may in fact have thrush?

The symptoms of some STIs such as herpes and gonorrhoea can appear similar to the signs of thrush in men, and it is also possible to have thrush without displaying all or in fact any of the symptoms. If you’re unsure about your symptoms, you should visit your GP or local sexual health clinic for a professional diagnosis.  

Causes of thrush

When you have thrush, the candida fungus that is present naturally in your body multiplies outside of normal levels, rather than being kept under control by your immune system. This in turn causes the unpleasant symptoms associated with thrush, including itching and abnormal discharge. Thrush occurs in areas of the body that are moist and warm, such as the genital area, and may also appear if you are feeling ‘run down’ from another illness.

While thrush is not an STI, it is possible for sexual partners to pass thrush between one another through sex. So, if your partner is diagnosed with thrush, it’s important that you have treatment too to help prevent it returning.

That said, it’s perfectly possible to get thrush if you’re not sexually active. As we’ve already mentioned, those with a weakened immune system are more prone to suffer from thrush, and it is more common among men who have diabetes or HIV.

Treatments for thrush

Washing your penis regularly will help you notice any visual symptoms of thrush. People with thrush should avoid washing with perfumed shower gels and soaps and could consider wearing loose fit cotton underwear, which can slow the multiplication of the candida fungus. If your partner has thrush, you should use a condom during sex.

There are a number of over-the-counter treatments for thrush in men available in the thrush relief range from Rowlands Pharmacy, from trusted brands including Canesten. These thrush treatments include topical thrush creams containing clotrimazole, and fluconazole tablets to treat the symptoms orally.

If you’re suffering with what you think is your first ever case of thrush, it is important that you consult a medical professional to check that an underlying problem, such as an STI, is not the cause of your symptoms. Your GP will be able to guide you through questions to give you an accurate diagnosis. Men who find they are suffering from recurring bouts of thrush should also seek medical advice as this could be an indicator of an underlying condition that needs treatment.

Looking for advice about thrush in general? Take a look at our posts on identifying whether you have thrush or an STI and how to relieve the symptoms of thrush, or try our Ask a Pharmacist option for quick medical advice from an expert. Rowlands Pharmacy always recommend speaking with a medical professional to ensure a proper diagnosis for any symptoms you have.