Sex & Pancakes

Excuse or Infection?

I’ve been fooling around with this guy for about a month now, and everything was really great until he told me we can’t do anything for a bit because he’s clearing up a yeast infection. He also told me I should see a doctor to get antibiotics just in case. Is he trying to avoid sleeping with me, or can guys actually get yeast infections?

—Path of Yeast Resistance

Of all the things to pretend to have, I don’t think a yeast infection would be anyone’s number one choice. You don’t hear people talk about it very often, but men can absolutely get them. It’s not as common in men as it is in women but it can be just as uncomfortable, so let’s find out more about the male yeast infection!

Candidiasis, thrush, or—as we more commonly know it—the yeast infection, is a fungal infection. Candida yeast is already found in both men and women and an infection happens when the body overproduces this yeast, usually as a result of a drop in the immune system.

The most common cause of yeast infections in men is intercourse with an infected partner, but it can also be the result of a weakened immune system, diabetes, or use of antibiotics.

In women, the infection can also happen when things like medication, creams, detergents, flavoured lubes and the like throw off the pH balance of the vagina. This is also why you should never use flavoured lubricated condoms for actual intercourse.

The seriousness of any yeast infection can vary depending on where the infection takes place (it can also happen in your throat!) and the presence of other illnesses.

A man’s yeast infection commonly involves an irritated and sore penis head, and can be really itchy. There can also appear in the form of sores. In rare cases there will be a white, sometimes clumpy discharge and a bad smell.

It’s also common, however, for yeast infections to show no symptoms at all or ones that aren’t concerning enough to think anything is really wrong.

Why does this suck? If you’re someone regularly having sex with a man who has a yeast infection you may keep getting infected and treated without realizing that it’s because the source of infection is never really going away.

Women can also show no symptoms, so the risk of re-infection also stands. Basically, yeast infections are a ton of fun!

Your guy is right that he can’t fool around with you until it clears up. Since yeast infections can pass between partners, it’s always best to keep your distance for a bit. So, is he avoiding having sex with you? Yes, but based on the info you’ve given me, it seems like it’s for the right reasons.

If you have any reason to think you also have a yeast infection, there are a few ways to take care of it. You can get an over-the-counter cream treatment or you can see a doctor to prescribe a one-time tablet called fluconazole. In Quebec, you can now get the same tablet without a prescription if you present yourself to the pharmacist counter.

I suggest seeing a doctor even if it’s not the most pleasant option, because what you have may not be a yeast infection, but any of a variety of bacterial infections that a cream won’t solve.

A major issue around men with yeast infections is that they rarely see a doctor about it. This could be because they don’t know it’s even possible, or because they’re embarrassed.

The bright side to all this is that you have a partner who is aware of his body and takes care of himself. He’s also taking care of you by letting you know what’s going on with him, and that’s a good sign in any kind of sexual relationship since it means he probably wouldn’t keep you in the dark if he had something more serious, like an STI.

—Melissa Fuller

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