Aunt Vadge: we had sex, but now my boyfriend has a red, itchy, sore penis – was it my thrush?

Hi there Aunt Vadge, 

I had thrush which went away a few days before the first time of having unprotected sex with my new partner. The morning after, he had a very sore, itchy rash all over his penis. On examination, his doctor diagnosed a dermatitis caused by either poor hygiene, use of perfumed soaps etc. 

I am fine apart from, the thrush has returned. Should I be worried that it’s more than thrush to have caused this problem to him? It’s now 4 days since we had sex and his penis is sore, red and very itchy. 

Sincerely,
Worried
Age: 49
Country/Area: Derby UK

Dear Worried,

It sounds like you have passed on your yeast infection to your partner. This happens from time to time, but usually only with susceptible men who possibly have delicate skin or are more easily irritated by yeasts. The fact that your thrush has not gone away means you have probably passed it over to him, despite not having symptoms when you had sex – it was probably still there, but not giving you symptoms.

Your partner could try some anti-fungal ointment on his penis to see if it makes a difference, following the instructions on the label.

I don’t think it is more than thrush, and it should clear up on its own in a few days or a week. This doesn’t happen all the time, but it does happen unexpectedly with some people.

To deal with your yeast infections, you should cut out carbs for a few days, and get yourself on a high-quality probiotic that contains Saccharomyces boulardii, a known yeast fighter. If you can’t find that, find a probiotic designed for yeast infections, or failing that, a women’s probiotic.

If it is more than this, it won’t clear up on its own or your symptoms will persist. It seems unusual that just after sex, that this has occurred to him, and assuming you have regular pap tests and STD checks at the same time, then I can’t see why it should be more complicated. If you are worried, go back to the doctor and ask for a yeast test for your partner so he can get some prescription anti-fungal or another test or treatment.

The solution for yeast is lots of probiotics, but starving the yeast of their carbs also works wonders, and quickly too.

Write anytime.

Warmest regards,
Aunt Vadge

Jessica Lloyd - Naturopathic Practitioner, BHSc(N)

Jessica Lloyd - Naturopathic Practitioner, BHSc(N)

Jessica is a degree-qualified naturopath (BHSc) specialising in vulvovaginal health and disease, based in Melbourne, Australia.

Jessica is the owner and lead naturopath of My Vagina, and is a member of the:

  • International Society for the Study of Vulvovaginal Disease (ISSVD)
  • International Society for the Study of Women's Sexual Health (ISSWSH)
  • National Vulvodynia Association (NVA) Australia
  • New Zealand Vulvovaginal Society (ANZVS)
  • Australian Traditional Medicine Society (ATMS)
Read more about Jessica and My Vagina's origin story.