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Thrush in men

Thrush is a yeast infection caused by a fungus called Candida Albicans. Both men and women can get thrush, though it’s more often associated with women.

The medical term for thrush is candidiasis.

What it looks like

In men, it usually affects the head of the penis - causing irritation, discharge and redness. 

It can also affect the skin, known as candidal skin infection and the inside of the mouth, known as oral thrush.

If you suspect thrush for the first time, it's best to come along to one of our drop-in clinics for a diagnosis, as symptoms can often be similar to those of a sexually transmitted infection (STI). Download our clinic timetable.

If you've had thrush before and you recognise the symptoms, you can treat it yourself with over-the-counter medication.

Treating and preventing thrush

You can treat thrush without prescription medications. For thrush affecting your penis, ask your pharmacist for clotrimazole cream or a tablet called fluconazole. For thrush infections in your groin or elsewhere, the pharmacy can supply a cream.

It's possible for thrush to spread during sex, but it's not an STI. However, both sexual partners may need thrush treatment to prevent re-infection. However, not all cases are caused by sex, and many cases develop in men and women who are not sexually active.

You can help prevent thrush by cleaning your penis regularly and using a condom while having sex with your partner.

Avoid using perfumed soaps or shower gels on your genitals, as they can cause irritation. Make sure you dry your penis properly after washing.

Wearing loose-fitting cotton underwear can help prevent moisture building up under your foreskin, which lowers the chances of the candida fungus multiplying. 

Download the Family Planning Association thrush and bacterial vaginosis leaflet.