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Thrush in men

Thrush is a common yeast infection. Both men and women can get thrush, though it’s more often associated with women. In men, it usually affects the head of the penis - causing irritation, discharge and redness.

Thrush isn't usually anything to worry about in most cases, but it may be unpleasant and uncomfortable. Thrush can usually be treated with medication available from pharmacies, your GP or any of our clinics.


If symptoms do appear, they can include:

  • irritation, burning or itching under the foreskin or on the tip of the penis
  • redness, or red patches under the foreskin or on the tip of the penis
  • a discharge under the foreskin that may look like cottage cheese - there may also be an unpleasant smell
  • difficulty pulling back the foreskin of your penis


Most people with thrush will not need a test. If you suspect thrush for the first time, you can try an over the counter remedy from your local pharmacy.

If you think you have any symptoms or need further treatment, you should:

*please note our walk-in and wait slots are limited and can, on occasion, incur a 2 hour wait.



You can treat thrush without prescription medications.

For thrush affecting your penis, the commonest treatments are clotrimazole cream or a tablet called fluconazole. For thrush infections in your groin or elsewhere, the pharmacist can advise on which treatment may be best for you.


You can help prevent thrush by: 

  • cleaning your penis regularly and using a condom while having sex with your partner
  • avoiding the use of 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 yeast multiplying


More information

Visit NHS Choices - thrush in men.