Yeast in Man (Balanopothitis)
What is Yeast Infection in Men
Balanitis (Yeast in Man) is an inflammation of the penis glans. The inflammation can also affect preputium. This condition is called posthitis. As a rule, these two diseases are most often come together and then they are called by a single term – namely, balanoposthitis. Quite often balanoposthitis develops in children, when the tip of the penis is still covered with the foreskin. Boys under five years old, whose foreskin is too narrow and who has phimosis are especially prone to this disease. Circumcision may prevent this problem, because when the penis glans is closed by the foreskin, it favors the yeast infection which is the cause the inflammation. Also patients suffering from diabetes are susceptible to balanoposthitis.
What are the Cases of Balanoposthitis
There are several different causes of balanoposthitis occurrence both of non-infection and infection origins. They are:
- Poor intimate hygiene;
- Phimosis (narrowing of the prepuce of penis): bacteria, causing inflammation in are clumped in the preputial sheath (the space between the foreskin and the glans penis);
- Sexually transmitted infections (gonorrhea, chlamydia, trichomoniasis, etc.);
- Diabetes mellitus (a disease characterized by periodic increases of glucose levels of more than 11.1 mmol/l in blood);
- Mechanical or chemical damage to the skin of the penis;
- Vitamin deficiency;
- Systemic skin diseases (a disease of the entire skin that manifests itself on the foreskin, which can lead to inflammation).
How May Balanoposthitis be Contracted?
Balanoposthitis itself is noncontagious disease and is unique to men. But yeast (candidiasis) or viral infection (genital herpes, chlamydia, trichomoniasis and others), which cause the disease, can infect a woman (a sexual partner) through unprotected sexual contact without a condom.
In its turn the infected or pathogenic flora of a woman’s vagina can also cause infection of a man (sexual partner) which can later develop into a balanoposthitis. Yeast balanoposthitis can be infected not only through vaginal sex. A sexual partner can be also infected through an oral sex, since yeasts, that are present on the genitals, can reproduce on the oral mucosa and in the tongue.
It should be noted that yeast infection in women is revealed more easily than in men even at its early stage. At the same time it can be completely asymptomatic in men. That’s why at suspicion on yeast infection in a woman, both sexual partners should be tested immediately.
Incubation Period of Balanitis
Balanoposthitis does not have particular time limits for the disease first signs appearance after infection. This is because the incubation period of the disease depends on several factors:
- Which sexually transmitted microorganisms cause the inflammatory process.
- Individual features of the body’s immune system.
Thus, incubation period may last from 1 day to 3 weeks. And some types of Balanoposthitis can be asymptomatic.
Symptoms of Balanoposthitis
Symptoms of the disease at each stage are manifested in different ways and have different intensity. For example, all the symptoms of balanoposthitis in acute form can be divided into 3 groups:
- Slight lesions of the skin
They are accompanied by itching in the glans, as well as redness and swelling of the skin in this area. Often, the duration of sexual intercourse is significantly reduced, premature ejaculation occurs.
- Changes in the skin of the balanus
Thinning of the mucosa and dry skin, the appearance of cracks and sores in the foreskin or balanus appear, narrowing of the foreskin makes it difficult to expose the tip. Painful sexual intercourse and urination.
- Occurrence of pathological discharges
At this stage, the smegma discharge (the secretion of sebaceous glands of foreskin) becomes so intense that underwear can get soaked, although in normal condition the smegma is discharged in small amounts. Also purulent discharge from the urethra appears. In some cases, the temperature may rise and fatigue may appear.
All of the above symptoms of balanoposthitis can manifest themselves either individually or in various combinations. In any case, when the first signs of the disease appear, you should immediately consult a doctor.
Testing for Balanoposthitis
If you notice any of the above symptoms or become aware that your partner is infected, you should immediately consult the doctor. The doctor will examine you for:
- presence of redness and defects in the mucous membrane of the glans;
- presence of discharge from the urethra;
- presence of edema and narrowing of the ring of the foreskin of the glans.
Some diagnostic tests may also be required:
- Microscopy of the swab sample from the urethra.
- Testing for STDs.
- Allergic tests.
The main problem of balanoposthitis treatment is that the local remedies give only a short effect: redness, pain, swelling and unpleasant odor disappear, the glans and foreskin look absolutely healthy, but, unfortunately, this treatment does not provide complete recovery. After another active sex or violation of hygiene rules, inflammation appears again, i.e. chronic balanoposthitis recurrence takes place.
After the application of combined medications, the inflammation must be gone and not recur, provided that there are no obvious predisposing factors in the form of phimosis, poor hygiene, excessive sweating, etc.
If, after applying of local antibacterial and anti-inflammatory drugs for several months, balanoposthitis recurs, then do not reapply the ointment to relieve symptoms. You need to contact an urologist to clarify the diagnosis and to choose the right treatment.
In case of diabetes or reduced tolerance to glucose for obesity, you need to normalize your weight with the help of diets, proper nutrition, regular exercise and active lifestyle. Men with type 1 diabetes should pay special attention to insulin replacement therapy in case of signs of balanoposthitis.
It is necessary to pay more attention to intimate hygiene, especially after sexual intercourse. It is also worth trying to determine whether the reddening of the penis is related to the reaction of the foreskin to one or another detergent, soap or shower gel as a type of contact dermatitis.
If you had unprotected sex, you should be tested for STD.
Balanitis as well as balanoposthitis may have an allergic nature. A distinctive feature that indicates that the disease is a reaction to an allergen is a rash of different color and location, blisters, erosion.
Often antigens are substances used in production of contraceptives: latex condoms, lubricants, oral and vaginal contraceptives of women, from which allergies may develop, or allergies to a certain type of food, to the pollen of plants in a certain season of the year. Even taking drugs or vitamins can result in irritation.
The main thing you should keep in mind is that balanoposthitis of any form and origin is completely curable. All you need is to consult the doctor and follow the doctor’s advice carefully.
And the best way to avoid the problems with the health of genitals is proper intimate hygiene and protected sex.