Cracked Open: Liberty, Fertility, and the Pursuit of High-tech Babies
Image by DES Daughter
Cracked Open is Miriam Zoll’s eye-opening account of growing into womanhood with the simultaneous opportunities offered by the women’s movement and new discoveries in reproductive technologies. Influenced by pervasive media and cultural messages suggesting that science had finally eclipsed Mother Nature, Zoll –– like millions of women –– delays motherhood until the age of 40.
When things don’t progress as she had hoped, she and her husband enter a science-fiction world of medical seduction, capitalist conception and bioethical quagmires. Desperate to conceive, they turn to unproven treatments and procedures only to learn that the odds of becoming parents through reproductive medicine are far less than they and their generation had been led to believe..
Many guys assume that yeast infections are a women’s issue, and that they don’t really impact penis health. However, if a man’s partner suspects that she may have this common (and generally harmless) malady, he should take measures to protect his own sexual health. The truth is, men can get yeast infections – and they’re less likely than females to know they have them. Here’s what you need to know about yeast infections and how they can impact men’s health.
What Is a Yeast Infection?
Yeast live all over the human body and are typically present in a normal, healthy vagina. These organisms thrive in warm, moist environments, so this part of a woman’s body is ideal for habitation. Women generally always have yeast in their vaginas – however, they can become a problem when growth becomes uncontrolled.
The most common type of yeast to inhabit the vagina is called Candida albicans. Its growth is naturally kept in check by a healthy bacteria called lactobacillus. Does that term sound familiar? If so, it’s probably because you’ve heard about it as a probiotic. These healthy bacteria line our gut and intestinal tract, and they are also present in the vagina; their presence prevents yeast from overgrowing.
However, if a woman’s system is out of whack, she may not have enough healthy bacteria to keep the yeast in check. Often, yeast infections arise as a result of taking antibiotics, as they kill off the healthy bacteria within the microbiome. Other causes of yeast infections include wearing tight clothing, being pregnant and taking birth control pills.
How do Yeast Infections Impact Men?
So what does this mean for men, exactly? If a man’s partner has a yeast infection, it’s possible that she could transmit it via sexual intercourse. Therefore, men should be extra-aware of the possibility of a yeast infection if they are having sex with a woman who has one (however, according to Healthline, this generally uncomplicated malady is not considered an STI). On the other hand, this is not the only way for men to become infected.
Remember how we explained that candida (yeast) naturally live in the body? They also live on the surface of the skin, including the head of the penis. Aside from having intercourse with a woman who has a yeast infection, men can get them by taking antibiotics or by wearing tight or damp clothing for extended periods of time. Men who
Symptoms of Male Yeast Infections
According to the Mayo Clinic, men who experience the following symptoms should get checked for a yeast infection:
* Itching of the penis;
* Redness of the penile skin;
* A burning sensation during urination;
* Moist skin (sometimes tinted with a creamy white glaze) or abnormal shininess around the penis area.
How to Treat a Male Yeast Infection
Because the symptoms of a yeast infection resemble those of numerous other conditions, it is important to see a doctor the first time you experience them to rule out any other conditions. Most yeast infections are easily treated with an over-the-counter antifungal cream.
Additionally, if your partner is infected, be sure you are both treated. You may also want to abstain from intercourse until the problem is taken care of, as it’s possible for sexual partners to keep re-infecting each other.
Preventing Male Yeast Infections
To prevent yeast infections from occurring, if men who aren’t circumcised should be sure to keep the penis area clean and well-moisturized, and allow it to “breathe” every once in a while by wearing loose-fitting clothing, as yeast overgrowth often becomes an issue when the body is sweaty and not exposed to air flow.
Keeping the penis clean by washing with a mild cleanser and allowing it to air-dry is always a safe bet. Keep the area moisturized afterward to keep the skin healthy and vibrant. A penis health crème (health professionals recommend Man1 Man Oil) that contains high-quality moisturizing agents such as vitamin E and Shea butter is an optimum way to keep the penis skin hydrated and healthy, helping men to avoid some of the conditions that can promote fungal overgrowth.