What Should You Know About Yeast Infection?
Yeast infections refers to abnormal colonization of fungal agents that may affect both males and females. According to latest statistics reported by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (1), both men and women are a common victim of asymptomatic yeast colonization. It is a popular misconception that yeast infections are more common in females, but on the contrary, males are more common carriers and source of infection for their female partners. Unfortunately, most cases of yeast infection in males are ignored due to non-specific symptoms.
Why Yeast Infection Is More Common Among Males?
Men are generally more physically and metabolically active when compared to females. Also, most men engage in vigorous and tough workout regimen that makes them sweat and thus provides a perfect medium for the growth and spread of microorganisms such as yeast. There are some other factors that makes men more vulnerable compared to females; such as:
- Anatomical factors; uncircumcised males are more likely to develop yeast infection. According to a new study (2), about 32% males who tested negative for yeast infection on serological test were later found to have colonization of yeast under the prepuce.
- Genital hygiene: Males with poor genital hygiene are also at higher risk.
Fungal infections can easily spread via sexual contact. Without knowing that penis is infected with fungus, men can easily pass on the infection to their partners. Even if the fungus is dormant and you are not experiencing any specific symptoms that are suggestive of an STD, there is still a high risk of transmission of infection with intimate sexual intercourse.
Sometimes the situation can be just opposite. Women with yeast infections can infect men via sexual contact unknowingly. Once fungal agent colonizes urethra, the microbe can spread to the bladder, prostate gland and kidneys as well. Though, yeast/fungal infections are not lethal, but it may be an indication of an underlying serious health condition such as diabetes or immunocompromised state.
What Causes Fungal Flora On Our Body To Become Virulent Or Pathogenic (Disease Causing)?
Generally, fungal agents do not cause illness or disease in healthy or immunocompetent individuals. In other words, most cases of fungal infection are reported in immunocompromised individuals. Following are some risk factors that makes you more vulnerable to develop yeast infection:
- Chronic or prolonged use of antibiotics
- Consumption of unhealthy food such as too much sugar, processed foods etc.
- High intake of wheat and corns is also very frequently associated with a higher risk of fungal infections as sugars and other allergens in these foods can kill the good bacteria; thereby providing opportunity to other microorganisms like fungus and yeast to attack our body, causing infections.
What Is The Usual Presentation Of Yeast Infection In Females?
Yeast or fungal agent usually presents with lower genital tract infection; such as vulvovaginal candidiasis. It is a fairly common infection that is reported in approximately 75% women at some point of their life.
How To Prevent Thrush?
- Avoid wearing wet undies/ swimwear
- Try wiping penis/ genital after urination
- Keep genitals clean and dry
- Avoid using fragrant shower gels and soaps
- Take shower after exercise
- Use protection, if your partner has vaginal candidiasis
- Minimize intake of sugary content and alcohol
- Avoid sharing towels and other bath things
1. Pendharkar, S., Brandsborg, E., Hammarström, L., Marcotte, H., & Larsson, P. G. (2015). Vaginal colonisation by probiotic lactobacilli and clinical outcome in women conventionally treated for bacterial vaginosis and yeast infection. BMC infectious diseases, 15(1), 255.
2. Nyirjesy, P., & Sobel, J. D. (2013). Genital mycotic infections in patients with diabetes. Postgraduate medicine, 125(3), 33-46.
3. Rovira-López, R., García-Martínez, P., Martín-Ezquerra, G., Pujol, R. M., & Aventín, D. L. (2015). Balanoposthitis and Penile Edema: Atypical Manifestations of Primary Syphilis. Sexually transmitted diseases, 42(9), 524-525.