Candidiasis tests

What does the test involve?

  • Examine your penis and genital area
  • Use a swab to collect a sample of cells from your genital area including under the foreskin

A swab looks a bit like a cotton bud, but is smaller, soft and rounded. The swab is wiped over the parts of the body that could be affected and easily picks up samples of discharge and cells. It only takes a few seconds and is not usually painful, though it may be uncomfortable for a moment. The sample is sent to a laboratory for testing. The result is usually available within a few days.



Candidiasis is commonly known as candida or monilia, usually caused by the yeast fungus candida albicans. It is not a sexually transmitted infection but can sometimes develop after you have had sex. This yeast lives harmlessly on the skin and in the mouth, gut and vagina. Normally it is kept under control. Occasionally, however, conditions change and signs and symptoms can develop in the vagina and on the male and female genitals.


Some people will not have any signs or symptoms at all, and may not be aware they have candidiasis.

Symptoms of Men:

  • Irritation, burning or itching under the foreskin or on the tip of the penis
  • Redness, or red patches, under the foreskin or on the tip of the penis
  • A thin or thicker discharge, like cottage cheese, under the foreskin
  • Difficulty in pulling back the foreskin which sometimes smells yeasty

Symptoms of Women:

  • Inflammation, itching, burning or swelling in or around the vagina
  • Abnormal vaginal discharge which could be whitish, yellowish or greenish, often coming with an odor. The discharge could look watery or muddy
  • Pain during urination
  • Rash / diaper rash developed caused by the inflammation. The rashes are usually reddish
What causes Candidiasis to develop

It is not a sexually transmitted infection but can sometimes develop after you have had sex.

Your chances of developing candidiasis increase if you:

  • Wear tight clothing (such as tight jeans) or synthetic clothing (such as nylon underwear) that prevents ventilation
  • Are taking certain antibiotics
  • Are having chemotherapy
  • Have uncontrolled diabetes, HIV or other illnesses that affect your immune system
  • Use products that may cause irritation of the vagina, such as vaginal deodorant or too much perfumed bubble bath
  • Stress

Treatment is simple for both men and women and is only necessary if you have signs and symptoms of candidiasis.

  • You may be given some antifungal cream, pessaries, pills or a combination of medication
  • It is very important to take the treatment as instructed and finish any course of treatment even if the symptoms go away earlier
  • Some antifungal products can weaken latex condoms, diaphragms and caps. If you have any questions, please consult our doctor

How effective is the treatment?

Antifungal cream, pessaries or pills are usually effective if you use them according to instructions. Symptoms should disappear within a few days.

If the first treatment doesn’t work, the doctor may suggest another test or a combination of treatments.



Maaroufi Y et al. Rapid detection of Candida albicans in clinical blood samples by using a TaqMan-based PCRassay. J Clin Microbiol. 2003 Jul;41(7):3293-8.