Boots WebMD Partners in Health
Return To Boots

Men’s health centre

Candidiasis, men - Causes of thrush in men

NHS Choices Medical Reference

NHS Choices Logo

Thrush is caused by the Candida albicans fungus.

Candida albicans

Many people have a small amount of this fungus in their bodies. However, it does not usually cause problems because it is kept under control by the body's immune system and other harmless bacteria (so called 'good bacteria').

Thrush can develop when the good bacteria in your body (which keeps candida under control) is destroyed. For example, if you are taking antibiotics to treat an infection, the antibiotics will not distinguish between good and bad bacteria, and will fight off both types.

Also, if you are run down and your immune system is weak, the candida fungus that causes thrush may multiply.

Personal hygiene

Candida tends to grow in warm and moist conditions. Therefore, you may develop thrush if you do not dry your penis carefully after washing.

Using perfumed shower gels and soaps can irritate your penis, making thrush more likely to develop. Candida also thrives on skin already damaged.

HIV, diabetes and other conditions

Men who have HIVdiabetes or other conditions that weaken the immune system are more at risk of developing thrush. This is because the infection develops quickly and the weakened immune system is not strong enough to fight it off.

If you have uncontrolled diabetes (usually because you do not realise that you have the condition), you are more likely to develop thrush. Typical signs of diabetes include:

  • excessive thirst
  • frequently need to pass urine
  • weight loss

See your GP if you have these symptoms, or if you have thrush that keeps recurring (coming back), even after treatment.

Medical Review: June 09, 2012
Next Article:

Popular Slideshows & Tools on Boots WebMD

woman looking at pregnancy test
Early pregnancy symptoms
humbug hard candies
Diarrhoea & more
donut on plate
The truth about sugar addiction
cute dog
10 common allergy triggers
couple watching sunset
How much do you know?
hand extinguishing cigarette
13 best tips to stop smoking
assorted spices
Pump up the flavour with spices
crossword puzzle
Help for the first hard days
bag of crisps
Food cravings that wreck your diet
adult man contemplating
Visual guide to BPH
polka dot dress on hangar
Lose weight without dieting