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There have been a few embarrassing moments in my sex life, to say the least. One that sticks in my mind was when I was making love to my partner on a remote island off the Greek mainland, populated mostly by mosquitoes. At one point during my caresses she turned to me and said: "What are those spots on your dick, have you been with someone else and got a disease?" Or words to that effect.
Apart from the issue of lack of trust, about which the less said the better, this came as something of a shock, because obviously I hadn't, and yet, when I looked down at my erect penis, sure enough there was a line of bright red spots from base to tip, with the biggest and brightest on the end of the glans. Well, it didn't take me long to deduce that this was a rampant mosquito taking advantage of the generous blood supply to this part of my body although it wasn't hard to work that fact out, since they were biting me on every other part of my body as well.
Another rather embarrassing experience was when I was repeatedly get getting a red and itchy glans without any apparent reason. No matter how much thrush ointment I applied to the end of my cock, the rash would come back and the irritation would be just as bad after a few days... and while I was pretty sure this was some kind of yeast infection, try explaining that to your girlfriend when she has no symptoms! (Try explaining what you need thrush cream for, to the female pharmacist, too.)
The worst thing about yeast infection for a man is probably the obvious discoloration of the glans: it's bright red, and in more advanced cases it may be scaly, flaky and itchy as well. And, as I know only too well, when left untreated, this infection can spread to the scrotum and cause even more embarrassing itching. If you think about it, it's rather hard to scratch this part of your body without being seen as some kind of dubious character, especially if you're trying to do it discreetly through your pockets.
Take it from me, that doesn't fool anybody. The only thing you can do is go and see the doctor who, once he or she has finished laughing at the prospect of you trying to scratch your scrotum without anybody noticing, will take a good look at your pecker and then most likely prescribe the ointment that you've been using for several days or weeks anyway. So once you've pointed this out and of course I am speaking personally here the doc might give the matter a little bit more serious consideration and then come to the conclusion that you're actually being infected by your female partner, who, it transpires, may be a carrier of yeast infection (a.k.a. Candida albicans) without having any symptoms.
And indeed it turns out that all of us carry yeast cells around all the time, but this annoying little fungus will only mushroom out of control quite funny don't you think? - when conditions are right. That might mean when you're taking antibiotics which destroy the bacteria that normally keep yeast cells in check, or it might mean when your immune system is a bit depressed. In this situation it is obviously necessary to treat both the symptomless partner and the symptomatic one, so that the infection is eliminated once and for all.
But who would have thought that men could get a yeast infection? Surely it's not that common? Well, yes, it is that common athlete's foot is a similar kind of fungus and that is common enough amongst all of us (and apparently a fungal infection particularly common amongst jocks is, well, jock itch in the crotch).
So in case this happens to you, what can you do about it? First of all, get some fungal cream from a pharmacy; perhaps the best known of these is Canesten. If that doesn't work, you could try some home remedies apparently a vagina full of yoghurt can be quite helpful for some women, and maybe the same is true for men (though you might have to put it on your penis instead)... and if you're really lucky she might offer to lick it clean when the infection is cleared up.
Alternatively, if this probiotic approach doesn't work (that's the name given to bacteria in the yoghurt by normal people...marketing men think of them as their friendly bacteria), there are a variety of other remedies available which are described on this site where you can take your pick from a mixture of plausible remedies, herbal supplements, and old wives' tales.
Right, now I've got the serious stuff out of the way, some amusing facts for you:
Types of Yeast Infections
Balanitis is an irritating infection of the penis.
Because the female symptoms of Candida albicans infection often resemble those of Bacterial Vaginosis and some other forms of sexually transmitted infections, vaginitis, so it is essential to get a correct diagnosis to determine or eliminate the possibility of other STIs.
Moniliasis is an uncomfortable vaginal yeast infection which may occur during:
Intertrigo is a skin irritation which is caused by friction between moist adjacent surfaces, and it is very often accompanied by bacterial or fungal infection of one kind or another
Oral thrush is a painless infection of the mouth and throat which can often recur.
It can affect people of all ages, but is most common in:
Systemic Yeast Infections
Systemic yeast infections can occur in men or women with:
Conditions Commonly Confused as Yeast Infection
That's the important one - a yeast infection is one thing, herpes is another altogether. Don't take any chances with your health or that of your sexual partner if you look like these pictures or for one reason or another have reason to think you may have herpes (and see how similar they may look).
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