What Is Thrush?

Thrush is a fungal infection caused by an overproduction of the yeast bacteria, or Candida albicans. Thrush can affect different areas of the body. Most people assume that thrush is specific to a vaginal infection, but this is not the case. Thrush can also affect men and children. It can affect the skin, the mouth, the genitals and other warm, moist areas of the body.

One of the main causes of male thrush is an overuse of antibiotics. This is because antibiotics can kill the good bacteria that helps to fight off infection, which leaves room for the Candida fungus to grow. Thrush may also be caused by diabetes, a use of steroids or other cancer medications and poor diet. It has been known that piercings in the mouth may cause thrush as well. This usually only happens if you drink beer or wine after a recent piercing.

Symptoms of penile thrush are very widespread, as there are many different strains of this infection.

Male Thrush Symptoms

Often times, penile thrush may not show symptoms for up to a few weeks. Many people assume that penile thrush is actually a sexually transmitted infection, because of similar symptoms. Many men will be treated for the wrong infection and still carry a penile thrush infection for weeks, sometimes even months, without knowing.

The most common male thrush symptoms include:

Discharge: This is very obviously unpleasant, but can even be painful. Discharge is usually a white or grayish color, and may be thick in consistency. Discharge is a way your body handles an infection. This may be compared to pus coming out of a cut on your body.

Sensitivity: Any tight or hot clothing may seriously irritate the penis during a case of male thrush. The area may be red and sore to the touch. The penis may be especially sensitive after sexual intercourse as well.

Flaky skin: This may cover the entire penis or may be limited to certain areas. The penis may even feel dry and the skin may crack.

Foul odor: As male thrush is a yeast infection, the scent may be very yeasty. It is very unmistakeable and very specific to a yeast infection, or a case of male thrush.

Itching: The genitals will likely be very itchy. This can be a problem because the infected area may be very sensitive to touch. It can be a vicious cycle of sensitivity and itching.

Other more uncommon symptoms during penile thrush also include depression along with suicidal thoughts, extreme fatigue, burning sensation during urination and white or red bumps or sores on the head of the penis.

Male Thrush Treatment

If you suspect you may have contracted male thrush, it is very important to visit a physician to be properly diagnosed. Once penile thrush has been confirmed, there are a few different ways to treat the infection. Most cases of penile thrush may be treated with over-the-counter topical medications.

Anti-fungal medications may be delivered in tablets or in cream form. Anti-fungal creams are usually applied in single doses or 2-3 times daily for up to 14 days. There is also an oral tablet to be taken to treat minor cases of penile thrush.

Although there are not may side effects associated with treatment of male thrush, sometimes creams may irritate the skin, and oral tablets may cause nausea, diarrhea or abdominal pain. If any side effects occur, always call your doctor right away. They may be able to give you a different form of treatment or medication along with your thrush treatment.


There are some precautions that can be taken to prevent male thrush. Always talk to your doctor about certain antibiotics if you are concerned they may cause a penile thrush infection. If you are sexually active, be sure that your partner does not have a yeast infection, and avoid intercourse and oral sex during this time.

A consistent diet may also help to prevent a male thrush infection. If you are a diabetic, always be wary of your sugar and carbohydrate intake, as excess sugar in the urine may also cause a penile thrush infection.