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How to Treat Male Thrush?

What is Male Thrush? 

Thrush is a common type of yeast infection that affects both men and women. Male thrush is a term used to describe when this infection breaks out around the male genital area, namely the penis. 

It is quite common for men to develop thrush, though they will not experience it as much as women. 

What Causes Male Thrush? 

Thrush comes from the fungi Candida Albicans, which naturally occurs on and in the human body in small amounts. Normally, this would not be a problem as it would be well managed by the body’s immune system. 

For most people, thrush can develop without any clear trigger. 

Illnesses & Thrush 

Men who have diabetes and do not keep their sugar levels well balanced are susceptible to have outbreaks of thrush. This is because your body creates more amicable conditions for the fungi to develop and overgrow. 

People with a poorly functioning immune system have been seen more likely to develop outbreaks of thrush. This is due to the body unable to naturally kill and maintain the fungus itself. This is why men who have HIV/Aids or are undergoing chemotherapy have a higher risk of developing infections such as thrush with their compromised immune systems. 

Medication & Thrush 

As a rule, you should not use antibiotics for minor illnesses such as colds and flu. Using antibiotics can cause an imbalance in bacteria that could cause an outbreak of thrush to occur. 

Foreskin & Thrush 

For men, the foreskin and its condition can affect your chances of developing thrush. Keeping under the foreskin clean and dry is important as it prevents a build-up of fungi growing. Men who have significantly tight foreskins may find this difficult and it is why those who are circumcised are less prone to develop thrush. 

Sex & Thrush 

While thrush is not classified as a sexually transmitted infection, it has been known to have been passed on either during sex or to be triggered by sexual intercourse. This is extremely rare but a possibility. Much like men, women can find themselves possessing thrush without any symptoms or knowledge of it. Safe sex with a condom can limit the already small chance of contracting thrush sexually. 

How do you know if you have Male Thrush? 

Thrush is a common condition but may not have any visible symptoms at all. It is only when it causes a problem, such as inflammation, most men suspect it could be thrush. 

Here are some symptoms of thrush: 

  • A red rash is visible on the tip of the penis 
  • The penis is sore or itchy 
  • There is a swelling at the tip of the penis 
  • You experience a discharge, a white thick fluid which may or may not have an odour
  • You experience pain or discomfort during sex or urinating
  • It is difficult or uncomfortable pulling back your foreskin

If you have never experienced thrush before, please visit either a sexual health clinic or your doctor for a proper diagnosis. Through a swab test, they will be able to confirm whether it is thrush or not as well as ruling out if it is another type of infection. 

How to Prevent Male Thrush? 

It is important to remember that thrush is a fungal infection. These thrive in either hot or wet conditions where it can multiply. That is why it is important that you do not provide it with the perfect opportunity to develop. 

Simple things such as showering after experiencing and thoroughly drying yourself off afterwards can help prevent thrush. Perhaps most important of all, keep your penis clean and dry. 

Again, condoms can limit the risk of contracting or triggering a thrush outbreak sexually. 

How to Treat Male Thrush? 

Male thrush can be easily treated with antifungal creams or tablets. Containing effective active ingredients, such as Clotrimazole and Fluconazole, works to directly to target the cellular membranes of the fungi and kills them. 

Thrush creams are applied directly to the area of concern, directly delivering the antifungal ingredient to the source of the problem as well as providing quick relief. It is important to consider whether the cream would affect condoms and diaphragms, making them less effective. 

Thrush tablets are consumed orally and a single dose should be enough to clear a bout of thrush. 

Sources: 

  1. Thrush in Men and Women - NHS 
  2. Thrush in Men - NHS Inform, Scotland 
  3. Thrush - SH:24 
  4. What Are the Symptoms of Thrush in Men and How Is It Treated? - Healthline 
  5. Thrush in Men - Patient.Info
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