Thrush in men is a yeast infection that can affect your penis. It’s sometimes thought of as only affecting women, but is also common in men. Thrush can be uncomfortable, but usually doesn’t do lasting harm.
Symptoms & Treatment for Thrush in Men
Who can get treatment online?
If you are a man and think you may have thrush, you can order treatment online if you:
- are experiencing thrush symptoms
- are not allergic to the cream treatment (called clotrimazole)
How to place an order
- Fill out a short online assessment about your symptoms as well as your general health and lifestyle
- Place an order for your treatment. We currently only offer clotrimazole 1% cream for the treatment of thrush
- A Zava Doctor will check your assessment to see if your order is right for you
- If your order is right for you, then it can be posted to your preferred address or you can collect it from a local Post Office instead
Common side effects of thrush treatment for men
- Another skin reaction, like skin peeling
Thrush is a common infection caused by a yeast. You are at a higher risk of getting thrush if you:
- are taking medicines that stop your immune system from working properly. These might include steroids or medicines for rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease or cancer. Medicines that prevent a transplant being rejected by your body can also mean you are more likely to get thrush
- have a weakened immune system because of conditions like diabetes, chronic kidney disease, chronic liver disease, malnutrition, HIV, or not having a spleen
Mild infections can take a few days to clear and may not even need treatment. More severe infections can take a few weeks with treatment to clear.
Men and women can get thrush. It can affect the:
- space between the fingers
We don’t offer treatments for oral thrush, but we do offer female thrush treatment.
Thrush is caused by too much growth of a specific type of yeast (called Candida) that is normally found in small amounts on some parts of the skin.
If your body’s immune system is weakened in some way, your body may not be able to stop the yeast from growing too much. When there is too much Candida on the skin, you can start to get symptoms of thrush.
Candida can be spread by:
- skin-to-skin contact with a person who has an active infection, including sex without wearing a condom
- using the same towels, soaps, sex toys, or clothing as a person who has an active infection
If you come into contact with a person who has an active infection and your body can’t get the yeast under control, you may also develop thrush.
Thrush is not a sexually transmitted infection (STI). It can be passed on during sex, but it’s uncommon to get thrush in this way.
- Irritation, a sensation of burning, or redness around the head of the penis
- An unpleasant smell
- A white discharge, like cottage cheese
- Difficulty or pain when trying to pull back the foreskin
Getting thrush does not affect fertility, even if you have repeated infections or an infection that takes a long time to clear. However, the symptoms of thrush may make it uncomfortable or even painful for you to have sex.
Although thrush in itself doesn’t have any long term effects, there can be a risk of side effects of taking thrush medication long term such as damage to the liver.
If you’re not sure whether you need thrush treatment, you can complete an online assessment here, and a Zava Doctor will be able to let you know.
You can also make an appointment with your usual GP or a doctor in a sexual health clinic, who will be able to do an assessment. The doctor will ask about your symptoms and they may ask to examine the part of the skin that is affected. If you want to, you can ask for a for somebody to come with you to your appointment.
You should see a doctor if you experience thrush and:
- you’re under 16 or over 60 years old
- you’re having thrush for the first time
- you’ve had thrush more than twice in six months
- you’ve been taking treatment but your symptoms haven’t improved
- you have a weakened immune system
Treatment can clear your symptoms up faster. This also means that you’re less likely to spread thrush to other people.
You might not need treatment if you:
- have a very mild infection which clears up in a few days
- don’t have thrush at all: other conditions such as eczema around your genitals can cause some symptoms which are the same as thrush
We offer clotrimazole 1% cream through our online consultation service. This is an antifungal cream which kills some of the yeast that causes the infection, making it easier for your body to get the growth of yeast under control.
There are other options available to treat thrush, which we do not currently offer through our online consultation service:
- Chlormidazole cream
- Miconazole cream
- Econazole cream
- Fluconazole tablets
- Hydrocortisone 1% cream for pain or discomfort
- Hydrocortisone 1% ointment for pain or discomfort
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Joint Formulary Committee (2018). British National Formulary, 77 ed. London: BMJ Group and Pharmaceutical Press.
NHS Information Centre (2017). Thrush in men and women. NHS. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/thrush-in-men-and-women/ [accessed 17th Oct 2018].
Arendrup, M. C. (2013). Candida and candidaemia. Susceptibility and epidemiology. Danish Medical Journal, November; 60(11): B4698.
NICE CKS (2018). Balantitis. [online]. NICE. Available at: https://cks.nice.org.uk/balanitis#!scenario:1 [accessed 17th October 2018].