When most people talk about thrush, they tend to refer to female health.
But while vaginal thrush is common, this is actually a misconception as the condition can happen to all genders – so yes, men can get thrush too.
No need to panic if your junk is feeling a tad itchy today, but it’s important to be aware of the symptoms, and that it’s not just a female health issue.
So what is penile thrush? Hold on to your dicks, here we go.
What are the symptoms of dick thrush?
First off, know that the condition presents itself somewhat differently in men and women, though there are similarities.
According to the NHS, the most common symptoms are as follows:
- Irritation, burning and redness around the head of the penis and under the foreskin
- a white discharge – like cottage cheese
- an unpleasant smell
- difficulty pulling back the foreskin
Penile thrush doesn’t always just affect the dick itself; you may notice red, itchy or painful rashes over your armpits, groin or between the fingers – and these may also release white or yellow discharge.
However, do note that you can have thrush without displaying any of the above symptoms, too.
How to ease penile thrush symptoms
- Use water and emollient (like E45 cream) instead of soap to wash the affected area
- Dry properly after washing
- Wear cotton underwear
- Take showers instead of baths
- Avoid sex until thrush has cleared up – if you do have sex, use a condom to help stop it spreading
How can you treat penile thrush?
Now for the good news: thrush is very easy to treat, though you may feel a little uncomfortable while your pride and joy heals up.
Call your local GP or sexual health clinic (to check if they are open before you head over, as most are not doing walk-ins during lockdown) and explain your symptoms.
Most likely, they will prescribe an over-the-counter treatment.
Alternatively, you can swing by the pharmacy directly and speak to them – however, if you have recurring thrush it is best to talk to your doctor so that they are aware of it (as they may prescribe a different, longer treatment).
‘Thrush is treated with antifungal medications, which can be in tablet form (such as a fluconazole capsule), in pessary form (a clotrimazole tablet you insert into your vagina) and also in creams (clotrimazole cream),’ says Dr Sarah Walsh, a gynaecologist, who is also the co-founder of Hanx condoms.
‘The symptoms should clear up within a week, after taking one dose (table or pessary) and using the cream regularly in the affected area.
‘The antifungal creams can help relieve the symptoms whilst you wait for the medication to treat the infection.
‘Other things that can help with the irritation includes using warm water and gentle cleansers in the affected area, and avoiding scented products.’
Usually, with medication, thrush should clear up within a week or so, although it can sometimes heal on its own.
Yes, it might be a tad awkward to tell a medical professional that there is discharge coming from your penis or that you can’t strop scratching your dick and/or balls.
But they’re heard it all before, so don’t avoid getting help because you feel embarrassed.
Look after your dick.
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