Yeast Vaginitis (cont.)
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
In this Article
- Vaginal yeast infection facts
- What is yeast?
- What is vaginitis?
- What is vulvitis (inflammation of the vulva)?
- What causes yeast infections in men?
- What causes vaginal yeast infections?
- What may increase my risk of getting a vaginal yeast infection?
- What are vulvitis and vaginal yeast infection symptoms and signs?
- What about recurrent yeast infections?
- What other vaginal infections have similar symptoms as a yeast infection?
- When should I see a health care professional if I think I have a yeast infection?
- Can I pass a yeast infection to my sexual partner (male or female)?
- How are vaginal yeast infection and vulvitis diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for vaginal yeast infection and vulvitis?
- How can a yeast infection be treated if I am pregnant?
- If yeast is commonly present in normal women, who should be treated?
- Pictures of What's Causing Your Pelvic Pain - Slideshow
- Take the Yeast Infection Quiz!
- Pictures of Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) - Slideshow
- Yeast Infection FAQs
- Find a local Obstetrician-Gynecologist in your town
What causes yeast infections in men?
Yeast infections of the vagina are caused by a fungus scientifically referred to as Candida. This fungus is commonly present on normal human skin and in areas of moisture, such as the mouth and vagina. The symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection in women develop when new yeast is introduced into the vaginal area or when there is an increase in the quantity of yeast already present in the vagina relative to the quantity of normal bacteria, for example, when the normal, protective bacteria are eliminated by antibiotics or by drugs that suppress the immune system.
Since Candida may be present in the normal vagina and yeast infections can occur in celibate women, it is not considered to be a typical sexually transmitted infection (STD). Treatment of male sex partners who do not develop symptoms of an infection is not considered necessary by most experts since sexual activity is not a significant cause of infection. However, it is possible for men to develop symptoms after sexual intercourse with an infected partner.
What are the symptoms of yeast infections in men?
Candida balanitis (infection of the penis with Candida) can lead to symptoms such as rash or white patches on the penis along with pain, burning and/or itching. The symptoms develop over the course of a few days and can vary in severity among individuals. Symptoms may be worse after sexual intercourse. The Candida infection can also spread to the skin of the thighs, gluteal folds, buttocks, and scrotum.
Who is at risk for a yeast infection in a male?
Just as women who do not have symptoms of yeast infection may carry Candida in the vagina, men may also be asymptomatic (having no symptoms) carriers of Candida. In fact, Candidal colonization of the genital area has been estimated to occur in 15% to 20% of men. This is more common in men who are uncircumcised, who have diabetes mellitus, or who have female sexual partners with recurrent vaginal Candidiasis. As in women, any condition that impairs the function of the immune system can predispose men to the development of yeast infection. Of these conditions, diabetes is the most common underlying condition associated with Candida balanitis. When a man is newly diagnosed with a yeast infection of the genital area, a diagnostic workup to rule out diseases that may affect immune function (such as diabetes) is typically recommended.
What is the treatment of yeast infections in men?
Treatment is recommended when a man develops any of these symptoms. Topical antifungal creams such as clotrimazole (Lotrimin, Mycelex) or miconazole (M-Zole, Micatin, Lotrimin) are the most common treatment. The creams are applied twice daily for a period of 1 to 3 weeks. Oral fluconazole (Diflucan) may be given in addition to topical therapy for severe cases.
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