Healthdirect Free Australian health advice you can count on.

Medical problem? Call 1800 022 222. If you need urgent medical help, call triple zero immediately

healthdirect Australia is a free service where you can talk to a nurse or doctor who can help you know what to do.

Thrush in men

Thrush in men
beginning of content

Thrush in men

Thrush is an infection with a fungus. It is also known as a yeast infection. The fungus, called _Candida_, occurs naturally in the body, particularly in warm, moist areas such as the mouth and genitals.

The following information is about thrush in and around the penis. For information about thrush infections of the groin go to our male groin - irritation and infection page.

It normally does not cause any problems because it is kept under control by the immune system and by other bacteria in the body. However, some factors can allow the fungus to grow, which can lead to symptoms.

The most common symptoms are:

  • a very itchy, red, and sore head of your penis (glans)
  • small red spots on the head of your penis (glans)
  • discharge from your penis
  • pain when passing urine
  • difficultly pulling back your foreskin
  • a 'cheese-like' substance that smells yeasty and sometimes collects under your foreskin.

In some men, thrush also causes their foreskin to swell and crack. This is probably caused by an allergy to the yeast.

Many people already have a small amount of candida in their bodies and on their skin. This is normal.

Thrush may occasionally be passed on during sex because the fungus can be transferred from one person to another. The infection can also be made worse as a result of irritation around the genital area that sometimes occurs during sexual intercourse. But it is not a typical sexually transmitted infection (STI) – in fact, thrush is more common in men who are not sexually active.

You should visit a pharmacy where you can buy anti-fungal creams or a single dose pill. Make sure you follow the dosage information on the patient information leaflet that comes with the medicine. If you are in pain, get advice on pain relief medicines you can take. And if it doesn’t improve, see your doctor.

Find out about treatments for thrush in men.

Not sure what to do next?

If you are still concerned about your thrush in men, why not use healthdirect’s online Symptom Checker to get advice on when to seek medical attention.

The Symptom Checker guides you to the next appropriate healthcare steps, whether it’s self care, talking to a health professional, going to a hospital or calling triple zero (000).

Last reviewed: July 2015

Check your symptoms Find a health service

Healthdirect 24hr 7 days a week hotline

24 hour health advice and information you can count on

1800 022 222

Government Accredited with over 140 information partners

We are a government-funded service, providing quality, approved health information

Australian Government, health department logo ACT Government logo New South Wales government, health department logo Northen Territory Government logo Government of South Australia, health department logo Tasmanian government logo Government of Western Australia, health department logo
Feedback