Causes and Risk Factors of Yeast Infection in Men: Signs to Watch Out For

Identifying the signs, comprehending the cause, and evaluating the risk factors of male yeast infection is crucial, given its potential distressing effects.

Causes And Risk Factors Of Male Yeast Infection: Warning Signs In Men
Causes And Risk Factors Of Male Yeast Infection: Warning Signs In Men

Yeast infection is frequently encountered in women, characterized by a fungal overgrowth due to disturbances in the balance of beneficial bacteria and natural yeast around the vagina. This imbalance leads to symptoms such as vaginal itching, irritation, burning sensations, and inflammation of the vulva. However, what often goes unnoticed is that yeast infections can also affect men, presenting as penile yeast infection. Dr. Basabbijoy Sarkar, a Senior Consultant Physician at Fortis Anandapur’s Department of Internal Medicine, discussed the causes, risk factors, and warning signs of male yeast infections with the OnlyMyHealth team.

What are the reasons behind male yeast infections

What are the reasons behind male yeast infections

“A yeast infection, typically associated with females (vaginal candidiasis), can also affect males, manifesting as redness, soreness, and swelling of the penis,” explains Dr. Sarkar. He emphasizes the importance of prompt treatment upon diagnosis to prevent potential complications. If left untreated, the infection can escalate, possibly spreading to the bloodstream, a condition known as candidaemia.

Dr. Sarkar attributes male yeast infections to the proliferation of the Candida fungus, which naturally exists in small quantities in the human body. However, under suitable moist conditions, the fungus can proliferate uncontrollably, resulting in an infection.

Citing medical research, he notes that approximately 1 in every 25 males experience penile yeast infections. Additionally, he highlights that children under the age of four may also be vulnerable, particularly due to difficulties in retracting the foreskin, a condition known as phimosis.

Warning Symptoms

  • Common symptoms of male yeast infection include:

    – Itching or burning sensation on the tip of the penis or the foreskin
    – Redness
    – Moist feeling on the tip of the penis
    – Cottage cheese-like discharge with an unpleasant odor
    – Swelling around the tip of the penis and foreskin
    – Presence of sores or white patches of skin
    – Difficulty in achieving or maintaining an erection

Who is susceptible to male yeast infections

Who is susceptible to male yeast infections

A penile yeast infection can spread through unprotected sexual activities; however, it’s not classified as a Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) since sexual intercourse isn’t the sole mode of transmission. Other risk factors to consider include:

– Being uncircumcised
– Having diabetes
– Poor genital hygiene practices
– Wearing tight or moist undergarments
– Prolonged antibiotic therapy
– Use of lubricated condoms

A 2019 study published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine revealed that conditions such as diabetes and a weakened immune system can also heighten the risk of yeast infections. Elevated blood sugar levels associated with diabetes can promote yeast overgrowth, particularly in the vaginal region, while a compromised immune system is less effective at combating yeast proliferation within the body.

Preventive Measures

Preventive Measures

Prevention strategies and measures to protect oneself against yeast infections include:

– Abstaining from unprotected sexual intercourse
– Ensuring proper genital hygiene
– Using unscented and chemical-free soaps
– Opting for loose cotton undergarments
– Thoroughly drying the genital area after bathing


Yeast infections do not discriminate based on gender. While vaginal yeast infections are more prevalent in women of childbearing age, men can also develop them, experiencing distressing symptoms. The key is to prioritize proper hygiene practices, steer clear of scented products, and opt for breathable, loose cotton undergarments.