Can Men Get Yeast Infections?

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  • Yeast infections typically develop when there is an overgrowth of Candida fungus in the genital area. This condition can affect both men and women.

  • It may cause uncomfortable symptoms like abnormal discharge, skin irritation, and itching.

  • Common causes of yeast infections in men may include using lubricated condoms, having poor personal hygiene, and wearing tight-fitting underwear.

  • It’s important to speak to your doctor about a proper diagnosis and treatment plan if you suspect you have a yeast infection. Leaving it untreated may result in severe complications that can even be fatal.

Although yeast infections are most frequently associated with women, they are also a common concern among men.

In fact, about 1 in 30 men will experience a yeast infection in their lifetime.

This condition can be uncomfortable to deal with and may have a significant impact on your quality of life if left untreated.

Understanding male yeast infections can help you determine when to seek medical attention and put measures in place to avoid complications.

In this article, we cover everything you need to know about yeast infections in men, signs you should look out for, and how to prevent recurring issues in the future.

What is a Yeast Infection?

A yeast infection — also known as candidiasis — is a common condition that develops when there is an overgrowth of yeast fungus in the genital area. Under normal conditions, this fungus is present on the body in small amounts, especially on moist skin.

An overgrowth is triggered when external factors disrupt the natural balance of microorganisms in the body. These factors may include:

  • Prolonged use of antibiotics
  • A compromised immune system
  • Diseases (like diabetes or obesity)
  • Sexual transmission
  • Poor personal hygiene
  • An unhealthy diet
  • Prolonged stress
  • Using lubricated condoms
  • Wearing wet clothing or tight-fitting underwear
Key Point: Why are Yeast Infections So Common Among Women?

Key Point: Why are Yeast Infections So Common Among Women?

Vaginal yeast infections affect around 75% of women in their lifetime – making it one of the most common genital diseases.

Although men can get a yeast infection too, it’s more common among people with female sex organs.

This is because the moist environment inside the vagina provides an ideal environment for yeast to grow.

The pH balance in the vagina is also extremely sensitive, and any disruptions can make a person more susceptible to a yeast infection.

Hormonal changes — such as those caused by menstrual cycles, pregnancy, or menopause — can also increase the risk of developing a yeast overgrowth.

Since men don’t experience the same fluctuations, they may be less susceptible to similar infections.

Can Men Get Yeast Infections?

Yes, although yeast infections are more likely to affect women, they can also develop in people with male sex organs.

A male yeast infection — also known as candidal balanitis — may occur on the head of the penis and typically develop in uncircumcised individuals. What are the symptoms of a male yeast infection to look out for?

A penile yeast infection can cause a number of painful and uncomfortable symptoms, including:

  • Redness
  • Itching
  • Skin irritation or cracked foreskin
  • Genital rash on top of the penis that appears as white, shiny patches and small red spots
  • Thick white discharge under the foreskin
  • Pain or burning sensation during urination or sexual intercourse

If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s recommended to seek medical attention as soon as possible to receive proper treatment.

Male yeast infection symptoms can also be similar to common sexually transmitted infections (STIs), so it’s important not to ignore them if they appear.

Key Point: Is a Yeast Infection the Same as an STI?

Key Point: Is a Yeast Infection the Same as an STI?

While their symptoms may be similar, yeast infections and STIs are not the same thing.

Yeast infections are caused by an overgrowth of Candida (yeast) fungus, and, although possible, it’s rare for them to be transmitted through sexual contact.

STIs are specifically spread through sexual activity with an infected partner and can be caused by various bacteria, viruses, or parasites.

Who is at Risk of Male Yeast Infections?

Certain groups of men may be more at risk of developing yeast infections. These may include:

  • Men with compromised immune systems: Individuals with conditions such as HIV/AIDS, cancer, or people undergoing treatments that weaken the immune system are more likely to develop an overgrowth of yeast.

  • Men with uncontrolled diabetes: If poorly managed, diabetes can lead to elevated blood sugar levels, creating an environment where yeast can grow. This puts you at a higher risk of developing yeast infections.

  • Men taking antibiotics: These medications can disrupt the natural balance of microorganisms in the body, including healthy bacteria that limit yeast growth. If you frequently take antibiotics for prolonged periods of time, you may be more vulnerable to yeast infections.

  • Uncircumcised men: The warm and moist environment under the foreskin can enable the growth of yeast, making uncircumcised men more prone to infections. Your risk also increases if you don’t practice proper hygiene in addition to being uncircumcised.

  • Having multiple or new sexual partners: Engaging in sexual activity with a partner who has a yeast infection may increase the risk of it being spread to you — especially if you have unprotected sex.

Couple sleeping

What happens if male yeast infections are left untreated?

If yeast infections are left untreated, they can spread to other parts of the body, including the bloodstream and internal organs.

When this happens, it causes a serious condition — called invasive candidiasis — that can lead to prolonged hospitalization and may even be fatal.

You may need to take oral antifungal medications for several weeks to treat invasive candidiasis and prevent further complications.

A penile yeast infection that’s left untreated can also cause a narrowing of the urethra, phimosis (tightening of the foreskin), and leukoplakia (thickened white patches in the mouth).

These conditions can be extremely uncomfortable to deal with and may require aggressive medical treatment to overcome.

Other, less severe complications of untreated yeast infections include:

  • A weakened skin barrier that leaves you more susceptible to secondary infections
  • Prolonged discomfort, pain, and swelling of the genitals
  • Recurrent infections that may become chronic

How Long Does a Yeast Infection Last?

Penile yeast infections may clear up on their own within 3 to 5 days. Depending on the severity of the infection, you may also need to take antibiotics to treat the condition.

Finishing the antibiotics course can take between a week and 14 days, by which time your infection will have cleared.

It’s important to note that, while this condition can resolve without treatment, not treating it increases the risk of developing complications.

This can prolong your yeast infection and have a significant impact on your overall well-being.

If you suspect that you have a yeast infection, it’s important to speak to your doctor about your treatment options.

Can You Prevent Male Yeast Infections?

There are a number of ways to prevent or reduce your risk of developing a penile yeast infection. The following methods can help avoid yeast infections:

  • Practice proper hygiene (especially if you are uncircumcised)
  • Keep the genitals clean and dry
  • Avoid washing genitals with scented soaps or gels
  • Avoid having sexual contact with a partner who has a yeast infection
  • Wear an unlubricated condom when you have sex
  • Avoid tight-fitting underwear

When Should You See a Doctor About Yeast Infections?

It’s important to consult a medical professional if you notice any signs of a yeast infection — especially if you’ve never had one before or if your symptoms are severe.

You should also see your doctor about a suspected yeast infection if:

  • Your symptoms are persistent and don’t seem to improve with over-the-counter medicine or home remedies

  • You have underlying health conditions like diabetes or a weakened immune system that may affect the treatment approach

  • You are concerned that you may have an STI

Seeking professional attention for a yeast infection allows your doctor to perform a proper physical examination and make an accurate diagnosis about the cause of your infection.

They may also recommend tests to rule out other underlying conditions.

Once diagnosed, your doctor will suggest appropriate antifungal treatments or other methods to help you overcome your infection.

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Where Can You Learn More About Yeast Infections in Men?

If you’re concerned about your symptoms or want to know more about treating fungal infections, LifeMD is here to help.

A team of medical professionals can assist you with information and provide guidance on overcoming a yeast infection.

Make an appointment with LifeMD today to learn more about treating yeast infections – all from the comfort of your home.

LifeMD makes it easy to stay on top of your health because talking to a doctor, filling your prescriptions, getting your labs done—and more—are all easy and cost-effective.
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This article is intended for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. Consult a healthcare professional or call a doctor in the case of a medical emergency.

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