I've got thrush. Can I give it to my man during sex?
Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng answers your sex questions
Q: I have candida. Is it harmful to my husband? How should we treat it?
A: Yes, men can get candida infections, a condition known as balanitis, which causes inflammation of the head of the penis. The fungus Candida albicans, which causes thrush, occurs naturally in our bodies.
Your partner may be more likely to develop balanitis from a yeast infection if:
- He is not circumcised;He is a long-time user of antibiotics;
- He has poorly controlled diabetes or is overweight;
- He has an impaired immune system; or
- He practises poor hygiene.
Many men do not succumb to candida infection despite a female partner having it.
If you and your partner both have symptoms of a yeast infection, it's important that you both be treated.
Some symptoms of balanitis may include:
- Moist skin on the penis, possibly with a thick, white substance collecting in skin folds;
- Areas of shiny, white skin on the penis; and
- Redness, itching or a burning sensation.
Most yeast infections are treated with over-the-counter antifungal medications. However, it is always advisable to consult your doctor to check any underlying medical conditions.
• Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng (MBChB), sexual and reproductive health practice, DISA Clinic, 011-886-2286, visit safersex.co.za
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