Thrush is a common yeast infection that affects both men and women. In men, the infection can cause redness, itching or a burning sensation around the penis. Although it can be passed on through sexual intercourse, thrush is not a sexually transmitted disease.
It’s essentially a harmless infection, although it can be uncomfortable, so you’ll find effective results in our range of treatments.
What is Thrush?
Thrush is a yeast infection that occurs when there’s an imbalance of the bacteria that live in the genital area of both men and women. Although it’s more common in women, thrush can still affect plenty of men, or be passed to them by their female partners who are suffering with it. The disease can be transferred this way but it’s not classed as a sexually transmitted infection because the organism that causes it is always in your body, and is not acquired from one person to another.
Symptoms of thrush in men include the skin reddening, the inside of the foreskin swelling, and an itching or burning sensation. It can also cause a white discharge and men who have the infection may experience pain when urinating, having sex or when attempting to pull back the foreskin.
What causes Thrush?
The cause of Thrush is a fungus called ‘candida albicans’. These organisms are always present in many areas of our bodies but sometimes, in moist, warm areas (like the mouth or genitals), they can grow much faster than usual. If your body’s immune system fails to keep it in check, then the overgrowth of the yeast is what’s known as Thrush.
In men, genital thrush is usually localised to the head of the penis, which is why the infection is more common in women (the vagina is a better breeding ground for the fungus). This often leads to men with constricted foreskins being more vulnerable and circumcised men being less so. Also, because the infection is to do with your body’s immune system fighting fungus growth, men with weakened immune systems are also more likely to get thrush.
Although the infection can be passed on from partners through sex, having sexual intercourse with a woman who has vaginal thrush is not guaranteed to pass penile thrush to the man.
How can I treat Thrush?
Treatment for this common infection is simple and quick, and there are a couple of different options. The first option is to use a topical antifungal cream; a cream that is applied to the infected area (in this case, the head of the penis), usually twice a day for one week. These creams target the overgrowth of the yeast and help to restore the natural balance of your body, effectively clearing the symptoms of Thrush.
Another option is to use an oral medication, treating the infection with a tablet rather than a cream. This works in the same way as a cream (targeting the fungus causing the Thrush) but is often favoured because it’s more practical and usually only requires a single dose. These options are available to purchase on UK Meds, with an easy and trustworthy process.
In addition to an antifungal medicine to treat the infection itself, you may also want to use a corticosteroid cream in the meantime, to help to reduce symptoms such as itching and burning. If you’ve had sex with a partner while having Thrush, it is not necessary to treat them as well unless they are experiencing symptoms.
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