Are fungal and yeast infections common in men?

A simple answer to this question is — yes, they are. Men, like women, are also at risk of suffering from fungal and yeast infections. For yeast or fungi to grow, a moist damp environment is enough. They don’t care about the gender. This is why men cannot escape the wrath of fungal and yeast infections, especially in the genital areas. However, the chances are it might go unnoticed for a long time as it is generally asymptomatic in the beginning. As days pass and the growth of the microorganisms are accelerated (given the damp environment that favours their growth) they can present with symptoms like burning sensation in the penile area, itching, painful urination and sex. Read to know how itchy penis can be indicative of diabetes.

The most common reason for yeast infection in men is bad hygiene. The genital area which remains covered most of the time makes it an ideal place for yeast or fungus to grow. Most men get affected during the summers as the humidity gets the better of them. However, there are other factors also that can lead to the same — use of antibiotics, corticosteroids, low immunity, being on an immunosuppressant, etc. Apart from this, men who suffer from diabetes can also be prone to fungal and yeast infections. High blood glucose levels promote yeast attachment and growth and also interfere with immune system making the body weak to resist the growth. In uncircumcised men, the moist, warm space underneath the foreskin is thought to promote yeast growth, especially when hygiene is poor. Here are few common causes of UTI in men.

One way to avoid such infection is to maintain a good hygiene and stay clean. Also, indulging in multiple sexual partners can increase one’s chances of suffering from such infections, especially if the woman is harbouring one. Practising safe sex is one way of limiting the chances of infection. Read about that one condition that can make pain worse during sex, in men.

Once a man gets a fungal or yeast infection, the symptoms persist for long and definitely affect his quality of life. Few symptoms of these infections are

  • Red spots at the tip of the penis
  • Swelling and reddening of the skin
  • Itching in the penile area
  • Burning sensation
  • Irritation and pain during urination
  • Discharge with unpleasant odour from penis
  • Painful intercourse

However, the good news is that penile infections are treatable. For men who suffer from diabetes, controlling blood glucose levels can help. Else, treating fungal and yeast infections involve either an antifungal cream/ointment that is applied directly to the affected area or oral medications, which might give rise to certain side effects. Antifungal treatment or ointments are offered to sexual partners of diabetic men with a genital mycotic infection so that the partner is not affected by the same. If the entire treatment is followed then it doesn’t take much time for the infection to cure. If proper hygiene and blood sugar levels can be monitored then the recurrence rate of fungal and yeast infections are less in men.


1: Nyirjesy P, Sobel JD. Genital mycotic infections in patients with diabetes.Postgrad Med. 2013 May;125(3):33-46. doi: 0.3810/pgm.2013.05.2650. Review.PubMed PMID: 23748505.

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