Urogenital infections are one of the most unpleasant that you have to deal with. These “delicate” problems not only cause discomfort, but also threaten with complications if left untreated. Thrush in men is a rather rare occurrence, it is more common among the representatives of the beautiful half of humanity, but some guys are still familiar with its manifestations.
Features of the disease
The main factors contributing to the development of thrush in men are the same as in most genital infections. Its occurrence is provoked by:
- frequent change of sexual partners;
- Unhealthy Lifestyle;
- the presence of bad habits;
- weak immunity;
- non-compliance with the rules of personal hygiene;
- the presence of chronic pathologies.
Candidiasis is an infectious disease caused by the fungus Candida albicans . This microorganism belongs to opportunistic pathogens, that is, in a small amount, these fungi are found on the mucous membranes of humans. Until a certain point, their growth is restrained by the body’s defenses.
If immunity weakens, the infection begins to actively multiply, causing inflammation on the mucous membrane of the organ where its colony has its maximum size. In addition to malfunctioning of the immune system, the growth of the fungus provokes direct infection, that is, contact with an infected partner. Candidiasis can manifest itself on the mucous membranes of such parts of the body as the oral cavity, genitals, intestines.
According to medical statistics, cases of thrush in the stronger sex (their symptoms are more acute) are recorded less frequently than in girls.
The anatomical features of the structure of the female genital organs allow bacteria to multiply more actively. The surface area of the vagina is larger, the environment for life is favorable, so fungi develop even with a slight decrease in immunity. In men, the urethra is very narrow, long, and the alkaline environment is less suitable for Candida reproduction, so they are less likely to experience this pathology.
The next difference is that the signs of the disease in women are mild, often it is asymptomatic. Girls postpone treatment, provoking its transition to a chronic form. As a result, a lady can easily infect her sexual partner, as she often does not even assume that she is a carrier of a serious disease. Can candidiasis manifest itself or not, depends on the general health of the guy and the intensity of infection (how many fungi got on the mucosa).
Reasons for development
How are the symptoms of thrush manifested? It all depends on the strength of the patient’s defenses. If the immune system is strong, then leukocytes (white blood cells) begin to be produced very quickly in sufficient quantities. Thanks to this, the body independently copes with the “pests”. The growth of microorganisms is restrained, preventing them from causing serious inflammatory processes or structural changes in the mucosal lining. In such cases, symptoms do not appear at all.
Male candidiasis is usually considered as a separate immunodeficiency disease caused by violations of the strength of the body’s defense system.
If the immune system is weak, acute symptoms will definitely occur, but this is not the worst consequence of the disease. A weakened body contributes to the transition of the infection to the chronic stage, and in difficult situations, treatment is no longer carried out at home, but in a hospital.
What contributes to the heavy flow? A number of chronic pathologies:
- psycho-emotional disorder;
- diseases of the endocrine system;
- pathology of the circulatory system;
- malignant neoplasms;
- hypothermia of the body;
- taking certain groups of medicines;
- irradiation of varying degrees;
- overweight patient.
All these diseases contribute to the weakening of the immune system. So, long-term stress, severe emotional upheavals adversely affect the work of all internal organs, reducing resistance to viruses and bacteria.
Most endocrine diseases contribute to increased sweating, and an increased humid environment is an ideal place for fungal growth.
The lack of vitamins, minerals directly affects the immune system, as metabolic processes are disrupted or slowed down.
The treatment of serious diseases requires the use of potent drugs that “kill” the beneficial microflora, which gives impetus to the reproduction of pathogenic microorganisms. Irradiation is not only the effect of radiation, lovers of excessive tanning or trips to the solarium are at risk. Obesity is the most severe condition that contributes to the emergence of many severe pathologies. The abundance of fatty tissue disrupts the functioning of internal systems and metabolism, which leads to a decrease in immune health. Also, fat cells are moisture, that is, a favorable environment for viruses.
How does thrush manifest in infected men? The first, most striking sign of the disease is burning during urination, constant itching in the urethra. A characteristic symptom of candidiasis is a whitish discharge that looks like cottage cheese or curdled milk. It is by the way the external manifestations of thrush look in women and men that the disease got its name.
In a small number of patients – less than 15%, the disease is completely asymptomatic, while the rest of the patients complain of rather sharp, unpleasant sensations.
Most guys complain about damage to internal organs when discharge is found on the head of the penis, but candidiasis can also appear in the mouth or on the skin. The source of infection is the genitourinary system, when spread to other parts of the body, it can provoke secondary pathologies (stomatitis, candidiasis of the epidermis). This alarming sign indicates the presence of primary or secondary immunodeficiency in a person.
It is very important to start treatment when the very first symptoms appear, which will avoid serious consequences and complications.
If the disease is not complicated by another infection of the genitourinary system, then the guys feel the classic, general symptoms of it. These include:
- swelling of the head of the penis, petal of the foreskin;
- painful erection;
- sharp pain during intercourse or during ejaculation;
- burning sensation when going to the toilet.
At the same time, severe itching in the urethra is present almost constantly, only sometimes it weakens a little. Also, the initial stage is characterized by the appearance of a light cheesy plaque, which has the smell of sour milk, on the affected mucous membrane or on the skin, next to the infected area. If the disease occurs simultaneously with another inflammatory process of a bacterial nature, the manifestations may look somewhat different.
If Candida colonies multiply together with mycoplasmas, trichomonas, treponema, chlamydia or cocci, the course of the disease worsens. The result of such “bacterial diversity” is usually balanoposthitis – a pathology characterized by an inflammatory process of the head of the penis (balanitis), the foreskin (posthitis) or both parts of the penis. This condition of the patient is manifested by the presence of a dense white-gray coating on the head of the penis, literally gluing the opening of the urethra.
When you try to remove this plaque, pain is felt, and an erosive wound remains in place of the gruel, which bleeds. The head itself is edematous, red, touching it causes pain, itching is felt in the urethra, and when you try to urinate, there is an acute burning sensation.
Such phenomena increase the sensitivity of the genital organs, which leads to an increase in sexual desire, the appearance of a sudden erection. But these processes, like sexual contact or ejaculation itself, cause painful, uncomfortable sensations.
Manifestations of genitourinary pathologies have many common features, therefore, to establish a final diagnosis, clinical tests are required to help identify the pathogen.
Candida urethritis is the second most common complication of thrush. It develops when the form is running, or when the fungus from the entrance of the urethra penetrates into its deep layers. The disease is often confused with gonorrhea, as their symptoms are very similar. To the standard manifestations are added frequent urge to empty the bladder (often false), the presence of sediment in the urine or traces of blood, copious mucus. After sleep, there is a release of thick whitish drops that form long strings.
If candida urethritis is left untreated, it will lead to prostate inflammation or vesiculitis.
The next complication is candidiasis . pyelocystitis . Occurs as a result of the promotion of pathogenic microflora up the components of the urinary system. In this case, the bladder (cystitis), kidneys (pyelonephritis) suffer. Manifested by weakness, lethargy, decreased tone, high fever. Constantly felt pain in the lower back, lower abdomen, aggravated after intimate contact or visiting the restroom. In addition to the “standard” representatives of pathogenic microflora, pyelocystitis can be provoked by: Escherichia coli, Klebsiella, Proteus or Enterobacteria .
To avoid complications, treatment should be started immediately after the first warning signs appear, and other genitourinary or venereal pathologies should be treated in a timely manner.
Before treating thrush in men, a number of diagnostic procedures should be carried out. Smears for microflora from the urethra, as well as bacterial culture of urine, should reveal fungi and other representatives of the microflora that provoke genitourinary diseases (if present).
Based on the results of the examination, the attending physician will select drugs whose action is aimed at combating viruses and bacteria. It is worth considering that if there are several pathogens, you will have to deal with each of them, so therapy may include several potent drugs.
The next important point of treatment is the examination of the partner. If the intimate life of the patient is regular, he has a permanent partner, then the presence of candidiasis in her is 99.9%. It is very important not to self-medicate, as medications taken without consulting a doctor can lead to increased growth of other pathogens. Cause a complication of latent urinary tract infections.
How to cure thrush in men?
If the results of the examination did not reveal other pathogens, a combination of local and general therapy will be required. General treatments include tablets taken by mouth, topical treatments include creams, ointments, or gels applied to the affected area.
A urologist, venereologist or infectious disease specialist will help to cure genitourinary infectious diseases.
There are two types of antifungal agents – single use or long-term use.
Drugs that involve a single dose can be used only in the early stages of the development of candidiasis, only if it does not have infectious complications. Typically, such drugs contain one capsule or tablet with a high content of the active ingredient, which helps to slow down the development of pathogenic microorganisms.
The list of such medicines includes:
- ” Flucostat “;
- ” Diflucan “;
- ” Mycosist “.
For long-term treatment, if the disease is advanced, a combination of several antifungal medications will be required. This may be a pair of single-dose medications or a combination of local and general treatment. The most effective drug available against candidiasis is Clotrimazole . It is produced in several dosage forms: ointment, tablets, vaginal suppositories (for female therapy). Its oral administration helps to fight pathogenic microflora from the inside, and the external one eliminates unpleasant symptoms, restores damaged integuments of the mucous membrane, and fights fungi at the site of the lesion.
Alternative therapy methods are also effective for thrush.
So, an excellent antifungal agent is baking soda, which every person has at home.
It is used for baths: a handful of sodium bicarbonate is added to a basin with warm water, diluted, and a bath is taken for about 15-20 minutes. Such procedures should be carried out daily (at least 7 baths will be required), and then the intimate organs should be treated with topical agents.
It must be remembered that each pharmaceutical product has its own contraindications for use and a number of side effects. Also, not all drugs are compatible with each other.
This factor should be taken into account if the patient has chronic diseases that require constant use of drugs.
Therefore, any pharmaceutical products, folk recipes should be taken only as directed by a doctor. Self-treatment for infectious processes is prohibited!