Q: I’m doing well, I have a question. I had unprotected sex a month ago and developed slight itching at my penis and started taking antibiotics though still not healed completely. Can that infection be due to stress that I was infected?
A: Thanks for writing in.
Unprotected sex is always a no-no! Please remind yourself of the ABCs guiding this: The first is abstinence. Honestly, this is your safest bet. If you’re not ready to deal with the responsibilities of having a baby, please leave well alone. You can’t have an STI, HIV/AIDS, or otherwise if you don’t have sex. And of course, you can’t get pregnant. Now, if abstinence is a problem, be faithful to one partner…who hopefully is being faithful to you too. If you can’t swear on this, revert to plan A. Finally, if all else fails, ensure that you use a condom to prevent STIs and pregnancy. Interestingly, the latex used to make condoms may lead to balanitis and in such cases, treatment will focus on the use of latex-free condoms. Unprotected sex is never an option.
Skin irritation of the head of the penis, known as balanitis, could present with itching as you described. Causes include:
• Irritation under the foreskin caused by urine
• Use of shower gels, soaps and other skin irritants
• Skin conditions like eczema
• Poor hygiene
Your doctor will work with you to determine the cause and treatment is dependent on that. We will only dwell with one cause here.
Candidiasis, which is a yeast infection caused by Candida albicans, can occur in both men and women. This yeast (fungus) occurs naturally in the human body especially in warm, moist areas like the genitals and mouth. It usually does not cause problems unless certain conditions occur to upset the delicate balance between good bacteria and the fungi, making the latter to multiply.]
Candidiasis is very common in diabetics (the sugar in their urine makes the genitals a rich culture medium for them), in obese people and those whose immune systems are compromised. It also happens in people who take a lot of antibiotics (like yiu appear ti be doing now without a prescription) destroying the good bacteria as described earlier.
Personal hygiene plays a role in genital thrush. If you do not dry your penis properly after a bath, the warm, moist environment encourages yeast to grow and thrive. Perfumed soaps can irritate the skin of the penis, making thrush more likely. Though this infection can be passed on through sexual intercourse, it’s not really called an STI because people who are not sexually active can be infected with this.
Symptoms of genital thrush in men include:
· Irritation, itching or burning on the tip of the penis or under the foreskin
· Thick, whitish discharge under the foreskin, which may look like cottage cheese or egusi
· Redness under the foreskin or tip of penis
· Difficulty pulling back the foreskin of the penis
Treatment is usually with anti-fungal cream and/or tablet.
Until treatment is complete, please avoid sexual intercourse to avoid infecting your partner. Actually, both of you should be treated at the same time. If you must, please use a condom. To prevent re-infections, remember to clean your penis after a bath, wear loose fitting, cotton under-pants, avoid perfumed soaps and generally keep penis cool and dry.
I suggest you see a doctor to confirm that this is indeed thrush and not some other condition.
I hope this helps.
Have a good night everyone 😀