Thrush, men - Causes 

Causes of thrush in men 

Thrush is caused by the Candida albicans fungus.

Candida albicans

Many people have a small amount of this fungus in their bodies. However, it does not usually cause problems because it is kept under control by the body’s immune system and other harmless bacteria (so called ‘good bacteria’).

Thrush can develop when the good bacteria in your body (which keeps candida under control) is destroyed. For example, if you are taking antibiotics to treat an infection, the antibiotics will not distinguish between good and bad bacteria, and will fight off both types.

Also, if you are run down and your immune system is weak, the candida fungus that causes thrush may multiply.

Personal hygiene

Candida tends to grow in warm and moist conditions. Therefore, you may develop thrush if you do not dry your penis carefully after washing.

Using perfumed shower gels and soaps can irritate your penis, making thrush more likely to develop. Candida also thrives on skin already damaged.

HIV, diabetes and other conditions

Men who have HIVdiabetes or other conditions that weaken the immune system are more at risk of developing thrush. This is because the infection develops quickly and the weakened immune system is not strong enough to fight it off.

If you have uncontrolled diabetes (usually because you do not realise that you have the condition), you are more likely to develop thrush. Typical signs of diabetes include:

  • excessive thirst
  • frequently need to pass urine
  • weight loss

See your GP if you have these symptoms, or if you have thrush that keeps recurring (coming back), even after treatment.

Page last reviewed: 11/06/2012

Next review due: 11/06/2014


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The 1 comments posted are personal views. Any information they give has not been checked and may not be accurate.

laurence85 said on 19 October 2013

Avoid taking antibiotics if at all possible as these will make the situation worse over time.

Avoid sugar.

Find out about the 'candida diet"'as this will help to treat the causes of the problem.

Use probiotic supplements if you can, and eat live fermented foods.

Wash the area once day using extra virgin coconut oil instead of soap. It is a powerful natural antifungal which also nourishes and heals the skin (much better than canesten). Must be extra virgin.

After washing thoroughly dry the area, blowing on it or waving it through the air until it is completely dry. A hairdrier could also be used (not too hot).

Diet is often the key to treating this problem in the long term so do research the 'candida diet'.

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