What is Peyronie’s Disease
Peyronie’s disease or curvature of the penis is the formation of scar tissue within the penis. Peyronie’s (pa-ro-NEEZ) disease causes the penis to curve when erect. A curved penis may cause problems for men during sex, from pain to embarrassment.
Commonly, if the curved penis interferes with sexual enjoyment surgery is suggested to remove the scar tissue inside the penis shaft that causes the curvature. There are non-surgical treatments for a curved penis that have worked for some men. For those that suffer from Peyronie’s disease the thought of penis surgery can be difficult to consider. This is why National Male Medical Clinics’ doctors are committed to helping the 1-4% of men who suffer from curvature of the penis using non-surgical methods whenever possible. We do not offer a surgical option to Peyronie’s disease, because our doctors feel all other treatment options should be attempted before surgery is considered.
Symptoms of Peyronie’s Disease
The symptoms of Peyronie’s disease are caused by a buildup of scar tissue or plaques under the skin of the penis and can be felt through the skin as flat lumps or hard tissue.
Men suffering from a curved penis may experience pain:
- With an erection
- During orgasm
- Upon touch even when flaccid (not erect)
The obvious curvature of the erect penis is the primary visual symptom of Peyronie’s disease. The erect penis may also have voids so it resembles an hourglass or it may remain erect, but hang down.
- Symptoms may appear slowly over time or suddenly. Usually the symptoms increase in severity the first six to 18 months.
- Men suffering from Peyronie’s disease may also notice a shortening of the penis or have difficulty getting or keeping an erection.
- It is time to see our doctors if you have pain during an erection that prevents you from having sex or causes anxiety.
Causes of Peyronie’s Disease
Peyronie’s disease can be brought on by trauma to the penis that does not heal properly. This could be the result of an injury during sex, such as the penis being bent. Sports injuries can also cause Peyronie’s disease.
Why the Penis Curves
The penis contains two chambers, one on each side of the shaft, called the corpora cavernosa. When a penis become stimulated a rush of blood fills these chambers and numerous tiny blood vessels making it hard and straight.
The corpus cavernosum is surrounded by elastic tissue called the tunica albuginea, which stretches during an erection. If injured, and the injury does not heal properly, scar tissue can render it inflexible and the penis will curve or become irregularly formed when erect.
Contributing Factors to Poor Wound Healing
If male members of your immediate family have a history of Peyronie’s disease you will have an increased risk.
Connective Tissue Disorders
Men who have a connective tissue disorder appear to have a greater risk of developing Peyronie’s disease. For example, a condition known as Dupuytren’s contracture — a cord-like thickening across the palm that causes the fingers to pull inward — is common in men with Peyronie’s disease.
As men age skin becomes less elastic and may make them more prone to Peyronie’s disease.
Other Contributing Factors to Peyronie’s Disease
- Pelvic injury
- Tobacco use
Options for Treatment of Peyronie’s Disease
There is no reliable research to support that oral medication can treat Peyronie’s disease, though many have been submitted for testing.
Our doctors may prescribe the use of a vacuum pump to draw blood into the affected areas of the penis.
Direct injections of medication are effective in reducing the scar tissue that causes curvature and pain in the penis. Multiple injections over several months are given after the penis is treated with a local anesthetic to diminish pain.
Surgery is effective in treatment of Peyronie’s disease. Surgeons will choose the most effective means of addressing the problem, either shortening the unaffected side of the penis, lengthening the affected side, or installing penile implants. There is usually a four to six week recovery period before sex can be resumed. We do not offer a surgical option to Peyronie’s disease, because our doctors feel all other treatment options should be attempted before surgery is considered.