Yeast Vaginitis (cont.)

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Can a man get a yeast infection from a sexual partner?

Yeast infections of the vagina are caused by a fungus scientifically referred to as Candida. This fungus is commonly present on normal human skin and in areas of moisture, such as the mouth and vagina. The symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection in women develop when new yeast is introduced into the vaginal area or when there is an increase in the quantity of yeast already present in the vagina relative to the quantity of normal bacteria, for example, when the normal, protective bacteria are eliminated by antibiotics or by drugs that suppress the immune system.

Since Candida may be present in the normal vagina and yeast infections can occur in celibate women, it is not considered to be a typical sexually transmitted infection (STD). Treatment of male sex partners who do not develop symptoms of an infection is not considered necessary by most experts since sexual activity is not a significant cause of infection. However, it is possible for men to develop symptoms after sexual intercourse with an infected partner.

What are the symptoms of yeast infections in men?

Candida balanitis (infection of the penis with Candida) can lead to symptoms such as rash or white patches on the penis along with pain, burning and/or itching. The symptoms develop over the course of a few days and can vary in severity among individuals. Symptoms may be worse after sexual intercourse. The Candida infection can also spread to the skin of the thighs, gluteal folds, buttocks, and scrotum.

Who is at risk for a yeast infection in a male?

Just as women who do not have symptoms of yeast infection may carry Candida in the vagina, men may also be asymptomatic (having no symptoms) carriers of Candida. In fact, Candidal colonization of the genital area has been estimated to occur in some of men. This is more common in men who are uncircumcised, who have diabetes mellitus, or who have female sexual partners with recurrent vaginal Candidiasis. As in women, any condition that impairs the function of the immune system can predispose men to the development of yeast infection. Of these conditions, diabetes is the most common underlying condition associated with Candida balanitis. When a man is newly diagnosed with a yeast infection of the genital area, a diagnostic workup to rule out diseases that may affect immune function (such as diabetes) is typically recommended.

What is the treatment of yeast infections in men?

Treatment is recommended when a man develops any of these symptoms. Topical antifungal creams such as clotrimazole (Lotrimin, Mycelex) or miconazole (M-Zole, Micatin, Lotrimin) are the most common treatment. The creams are applied twice daily for a period of 1 to 3 weeks. Oral fluconazole (Diflucan) may be given in addition to topical therapy for severe cases.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/22/2014

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