Thrush in men: symptoms, signs and treatment

Thrush in men: background and symptoms, treatment and prevention tactics.

In the minds of most people, the disease such as thrush, or, in medical terms, candidiasis, is associated exclusively with women. Many really believe that this fungal infection is peculiar only to the females. But this is just a stereotype: thrush is a disease that affects both sexes. The formation of this opinion was due to the fact that in men the thrush in most cases is asymptomatic, or their body with a healthy immunity to cope with this disease on their own and the patient does not even know the presence of candidiasis.

Like in women, in men, thrush occurs because of the intensive reproduction of microscopic yeast-like fungi of the genus Candida. These microorganisms in certain quantities are part of the microflora of many human organs: the oral cavity, large intestine, genital organs. But with the appearance of pathogenic strains of this fungus or with its excessive amount, candidiasis occurs.

Thrush occurs because of the intensive reproduction of microscopic yeast-like fungi of the genus Candida
Photo: Kateryna Kon /

Signs of thrush in men

Often, the asymptomatic flow of thrush of the genital organs in men is associated with the characteristics of their body: the external form of the genital organs, the absence of deep folds in the groin area, the mobile foreskin. If a man independently adds a high culture of hygiene, a healthy lifestyle and a culture of sexual relations to these natural factors, the chances of developing candidiasis tend to zero.

Most doctors unanimously say that the occurrence of thrush in men is triggered by problems in the immune system. We are talking here not only about the stably weak protective functions of the body, but also about simultaneous failures of the immune system. Often they can be caused by stress and an unstable psychological state. In addition, there are a number of diseases, the presence of which is believed to determine a man at risk of predisposition to thrush. These include diseases of the endocrine system, problems with metabolism, blood diseases and depletion of the body due to hypothermia or lack of vitamins.

Symptoms of thrush in men

If symptoms are present, this infection is accompanied by the following manifestations of thrush in men:

  • pain during urination, erection, sexual contact and after it;
  • itching and burning sensation of the penis;
  • redness, which is often accompanied by swelling of the penis head and foreskin;
  • white bloom of cottage cheese texture with a pronounced sour smell under the foreskin. It was this plaque that gave the name to the disease – thrush, and it is he who is the main marker for the development of candidiasis in both men and women.

Such symptoms of thrush in men are a reason to consult a doctor who will accurately determine the diagnosis and prescribe the appropriate treatment.
Clinical diagnosis of thrush in men comes down to the following studies:

  • visual inspection to confirm the above symptoms;
  • examining the patient’s history to identify predisposition and prerequisites for candidiasis;
  • a set of laboratory tests (microscopy of stained and unstained smears of preputial content, as well as seeding on Saburo’s medium, which allows differentiation of fungal colonies).

Interestingly, laboratory tests are an important, but not the determining factor in making a diagnosis of thrush. The decision of the doctor is based only on the above complex of studies.

It is also necessary to note the fact that in men, candidiasis, especially in acute and chronic forms, is often only a manifestation of more complex pathologies associated with hormonal status, carbohydrate metabolism, the state of bacterial microflora and the immune system. That is why only a comprehensive diagnosis can shed light not only on the presence of candidiasis, but also on the deeper causes of thrush in men.

Treatment for thrush in men

Despite the fact that the thrush in men is either asymptomatic and self-curing, or has clearly marked symptoms, the diagnosis and treatment of candidiasis are very serious measures that require qualified medical advice. First, it is necessary to diagnose thrush in men in a complex way so as not to miss the development of other pathologies. Secondly, when detecting candidiasis, it is imperative to examine the permanent sexual partner, since she is also very likely to have this fungal infection. And thirdly, the treatment of candidiasis often involves not only the use of local antifungal drugs, but also a number of other actions.

The tactics of treatment of thrush in men is built in three directions:

  • use of local antifungal drugs
  • personal hygiene culture,
  • changes in nutrition to normalize the digestive tract.

Antifungal drugs for men with candidiasis

The use of antifungal drugs for thrush is a major step in overcoming the disease. Medicines in this group regulate the number of pathogens and eliminate Candida strains that cause thrush.
The vast majority of commercially available antifungal agents are based on one of four active ingredients:

  • miconazole,
  • ketoconazole,
  • Econazole,
  • Clotrimazole.

For ease of comparison, let’s take a closer look at them as a table:

Miconazone violates the synthesis of the most important component of the cell membrane of fungal microorganisms – ergosterol. Breaking the biosynthetic network of ergosterol, the products formed are inserted into the cell membrane of pathogenic microorganisms, violating its integrity.

Active ingredient Commercial name of drugs Action
Miconazole Miconazole creams, Mikozon, spray Daktarin Miconazone disrupts the synthesis of the most important component of the cell membrane of fungal microorganisms – ergosterol. By breaking the ergosterol biosynthetic network, the products formed are inserted into the cell membrane of pathogenic microorganisms, violating its integrity.
Ketoconazole Nizoral creams, Dermazole, Sebozol ointment, Mycozoral, Fungistab tablets, Fungavis. Antifungal drug synthesized based on imidazole. Effective when ingested, therefore, the most popular are drugs based on it in the form of tablets. Ketoconazole has a destructive effect on the biosynthesis of several important components of the cell membrane of fungi, thereby reducing their population.
Econazole Creams Ifenek and Ekodas. The mechanism of action of econazole is based on a change in the lipid composition of the membrane of fungi, due to which it has a fungicidal and bactericidal effect. Effective against a wide range of fungal microorganisms.
Clotrimazole Imidil creams, Canison, Candide, Clotrimazole, Triderm ointment, Candide solutions and Canizon. Synthetic antifungal medication. Effective against yeast and mold fungi, gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria, dermatophytes. Used for the topical treatment of thrush.

The use of a specific name of an antifungal drug must be accompanied by a consultation with a specialist. This is due to the fact that drug therapy for thrush has many nuances associated with the causes of thrush, the characteristics of the course of the disease and contraindications of each drug, and self-treatment may not only have the desired effect, but also cause complications.

The Importance of Personal Care for Candidiasis

High culture of personal hygiene is the most important factor in the prevention of candidiasis. No less important is this factor in the treatment of thrush. To create negative conditions for the reproduction and spread of pathogenic microorganisms, instead of cosmetic body care products, you should use special means for hygiene of intimate areas, wipe dry genitals with a clean and ironed towel after hygiene procedures, and use linen made from natural fabrics. These steps will create an unfavorable environment for the development of a fungal infection, greatly simplifying the treatment process.

Change in diet to normalize microflora

Fungal microorganisms that cause thrush are, in their distribution, quite dependent on the food products that prevail in the human diet. It is considered that the best nutrient medium for Candida fungi are fast carbohydrates: flour and confectionery, chocolate. The best way to replace them in your diet with vegetables and dairy products. Such a correction of the diet will positively affect the state of the microflora, compensate for the lack of vitamins and normalize the work of the body’s protective systems.

And only an integrated approach in the treatment of candidiasis in men can guarantee a positive effect of therapy, while self-treatment of this fungal infection can provoke complications that can be very serious.

The likely consequences of candida in men

Incorrect treatment of thrush in men or the development of a banal form of this fungal infection in acute or chronic, can be the reasons for quite serious complications. Modern medicine divides them into two groups according to the time of occurrence:

  • similar effects, the manifestations of which accompany the flow of thrush. These include the body’s susceptibility to the development of venereal diseases, as well as a fairly high probability of parallel development of erosions and cracks in the mucous membrane of the penis, problems with intimate life, discomfort in the penis area;
  • long-term effects that occur after a certain period of time after stopping candidiasis. Often manifested in the form of infections of the urogenital system: cystitis, urethritis, nephritis, inflammation of the prostate gland. In addition, the distant effects of thrush in men also include a violation of childbearing functions. This manifests itself in very complex and chronic forms of fungal infection and is rarely fixed.

Prevention of candida in men

Given the infectious nature of candidiasis, prevention of this disease is based on minimizing the risk of infection:

  • personal hygiene;
  • enhancing the culture of intimate life, eliminating messy intimate relationships;
  • constant visual observation of the sexual organs, aimed at the rapid detection of changes characteristic of thrush (in addition to candidiasis, this will allow to notice many other problems in time);
  • respecting a healthy lifestyle and maintaining the body’s defensive functions in a fairly strong state.

Following these simple rules significantly reduces the likelihood of thrush, and in case of infection, it will be as easy and subtle as possible.

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