Find out more about how this common genital infection for women can affect men, too.
What is it?
Thrush is a yeast infection caused by an overgrowth of the yeast candida albicans - which occurs naturally in the vagina. Normally, it's kept under control by the presence of certain bacteria. This bacterial balance can be easily upset, however, by anything from antibiotics to stress or tight-fitting clothes. As a result the fungus multiplies, becomes infectious, and can be passed on through sex.
So it's a sex infection?
Technically, it isn't classed as a sexually transmitted infection. However, it is possible for people who have thrush to infect their partners. Often, men can transmit the infection through sexual activity without presenting any symptoms themselves, but this isn't always the case.
What are the symptoms in men?
If you're sexually active, You need to watch out for a foreskin and penis head that is red and inflamed, tender and uncomfortable - and which you can't leave alone for all the wrong reasons.
How is it sorted?
- Thrush can be easily treated with over-the-counter creams like Canestan, which contains an active ingredient called clotrimazole.
- If in doubt, your doctor or pharmacist will be able to advise you on the most appropriate product.
- Applying natural yoghurt can also relieve the pain.
- Avoid sex until the infection has cleared.
- When resuming sex, be sure to use a condom to reduce the risk of thrush transmission, as well as other STIs.
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