Yeast Infection in Men
Male yeast infections, also known as male candidiasis, are not as common as women’s yeast infections. Under 20% of men will be develop a yeast infection. Often times, a male yeast infection may go untreated, or be improperly treated because an infection is very similar to other infections, such as a sexually transmitted infection.
There are a number of different causes of a male yeast infection. It is commonly thought that a yeast infection may only be contracted by sexual intercourse. However, this is not the case. Many men do not realize that there are many other ways to contract a yeast infection. Until a yeast infection begins to show severe symptoms, a male may not know about the infection at all.
Yeast infections can be easily cured if treated properly, and usually do not last very long during treatment. The important thing to note is that it needs to be properly diagnosed by a physician to be treated. Because yeast infections are much more difficult to diagnose in men than in women, there are some important things you need to know.
What is a Male Yeast Infection?
Every human has a natural balance of the Candida albicans fungus. Most times, it is controlled by other good bacteria and does not cause a problem. However, when this balance is thrown off, the Candida bacteria may become an overgrowth and produce a yeast infection. The Candida fungus thrives in warm, moist places and can be found on the skin, in the stomach and inside the mouth.
Yeast infections are not considered to be a sexually transmitted infection, because males and females who are not sexually active may develop them. When a yeast infection is produced, it may cause inflammation and pain. The most commonly affected areas are the mouth, penis and vagina. Although they may be painful and irritating to treat, they are not usually life threatening.
In rare cases, however, Candidiasis may cause death. This is when the bacteria reaches our vital organs through the blood stream. Organs such as the kidneys, liver and heart may become infected. Many people who have a lower immune system, or illnesses such as AIDS or cancers may be prone to catching a yeast infection.
Causes of Yeast Infection in Men
Antibiotics - Antibiotics are known to be the number one cause of yeast infections in both women and men. If antibiotics are taken in excess amounts, they may kill the good bacteria that helps to fight off a yeast infection. Without a balance of good bacteria, the Candida fungus may multiply, and your body has no way of fighting off the overgrowth.
Sexual Intercourse - One of the more common causes of a yeast infection in men is through sexual intercourse. If one partner fails to mention to another that they have a yeast infection, it may pass back and forth and continue to worsen.
It is important to fully rid the body of a yeast infection before engaging in sexual intercourse. If you have had intercourse with someone who has been diagnosed with a yeast infection, it is important to be examined by a physician to treat a possible yeast infection, even if symptoms are not present.
Diet - As mentioned before, all bodies carry a natural balance of the Candida fungus. However, if a person is malnourished, has a low immune system, or simply eats poorly, there is a greater chance for a yeast infection.
Proper diet helps to keep the Candida fungus at bay by keeping up the good bacteria needed to fight off the possibility of infection. A diet filled with lots of sugars and carbs is an easy way to feed the Candida fungus and cause a yeast infection.
Diabetes - Men with diabetes may easily develop a yeast infection because of high sugar levels in the urine. This level of sugar may create a breeding ground of yeast to overgrow. Diabetics may also have a weakened immune system. This allows an infection to thrive.
Certain lubricants and condoms - There are certain types of condoms, lubricants and spermicides that are known to heighten the risk of a male yeast infection. These condoms may contain a lubricant that contains nonoxynol-9, which is a spermicide. This can be avoided by using condoms and lubricants that do not contain nonoxynol-9. Check the labels to be sure your product does not contain this particular spermicide.
Allergens - These may be anything that could cause an irritation in the genital region. If you have an allergy or sensitivity to certain scents, disinfectants, soaps or washing powders/fluids, and they have not been properly rinsed from your body or clothing, it may cause a yeast infection.