Getting a yeast infection is super common amongst women. Some get them occasionally, while some have what would be considered "chronic" yeast infections. In fact, when women experience a vulva/vaginal "issue", the one culprit they often suspect is yeast. Numbers in relation to yeast infections or "vulvovaginal candidiasis" are largely unknown as they are not considered to be an STI (Sexually Transmitted Infection) whose numbers need to be reported to public health authorities.
Because we so commonly refer yeast infections to the female population, many men believe they are immune to this pesky little fungus. Au contraire my friend! Men can get yeast infections in their throat (thrush), urethra, and rectum.
The first time I had ever heard about a man getting a yeast infection in his throat was Dave Matthews. Google it, as I'm pretty sure he had to cancel a few shows because of it.
In men, the most common way to get a yeast infection is through un-protected sexual transmission, taking antibiotics, or having a compromised immune system due to being on a constant regimen of immunosupressants or being diabetic. When it comes to sexual activity, men can come in contact with yeast if he performs cunnilingus on his female partner or they have unprotected vaginal sex. In fact it is very common for the same couple to pass yeast back and forth to one another. Yeast is a fungus that thrives and multiplies in warm, moist environments. This is one reason what why it is so prevalent in throats and vaginas. It is also possible to get a yeast infection in your rectum through analingus or anal sex.
When someone is taking an antibiotic, the medication is telling their body to kill off the bad bacteria. In killing of the bad bacteria, antibiotics also can diminish the body's supply of good bacteria. This forced un-natural state of equilibrium will often result in yeast infections. A smart physician will know and prescribe something like diflucan or nizoral at the same time they prescribe you an antibiotic and instruct you how to take it.
Diabetics are prone to yeast infections because of the elevated sugar levels in their urine. People who are taking cortisone treatments for asthma, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis, and MS are also at greater risk of yeast infections.
So what are the symptoms?
There is a chance that your yeast infection is *asymptomatic*, meaning that you fail to show any of the more noticeable symptoms. Many men will describe feeling a burning, itching, and/or redness at the tip of their penis. Remember that peeing should never hurt and you should never, ever ignore a burning sensation when you urinate. Some men will experience a slight discharge from their penis that is kinda white, perhaps a little clumpy, and may have a mild odor. Side note, how completely un-sexy would it be to have your partner look up to and ask "Do you serve crackers with this cheese?"
Men with rectal yeast infections will report having a rash or constant itching around their rectum. Anal yeast infections can occur if a man is getting anally penetrated (without a barrier) by his partner who has a penile/urethral yeast infection. Anal yeast infections can also occur when you use an artificially flavored lubricant to facilitate anal sex because they get their tasty flavor from sugar.
So as you can see, male yeast infections can, in fact, occur. They are not the worst thing in the world and pretty easy to get rid of. Reading this blog post may even make you think twice about the next time you really want to make a joke about yeast infections and baking bread to your female friend.
* I felt like a super sleuth sex educator a few weeks ago. It was time for my annual papsmear and when my doctor asked me if I wanted to mention anything else going on with me, I said that I think I have a yeast infection because the last time I had penetrative sex it hurt a little. Lo and behold, she was able to determine that it was a yeast infection by looking under the microscope. Point being is that the ONLY symptom I had (and yes, I do take oral antibiotics for my skin) was a bit of pain during sex.*