Peyronie’s disease is when scar tissue causes the penis to curve or lose length or girth.
Sometimes a severe curvature causes penile pain with erection and prevents men from having sex.
It can also make it hard to achieve and maintain an erect penis.
[Related: Trouble Getting An Erection & What To Do About It]
Fortunately, surgical options and nonsurgical treatments can manage the disease without harming the rest of the body.
In the article below, we will take a deeper look into Peyronie’s disease.
What Is Peyronie’s Disease?
Peyronie’s disease affects about 2 million men in the United States alone.
It is caused by fibrous scar tissue (fibrous plaques) developing under the penis’ skin.
The fibrous tissue makes it difficult to achieve an erection and perform sexually.
Peyronie’s disease is a type of penile curvature that happens to adults.
Symptoms typically start slow and worsen over time.
They include pain while erect, difficulty achieving an erection, curvature or bending of the penis, and decreased ability to ejaculate. In addition, in some cases, the penis becomes distorted or bent.
A doctor will diagnose Peyronie‘s based on physical exam findings and patient history.
Treatment options depend on the severity of symptoms and whether there is damage to nearby organs.
How Common Is Peyronie’s Disease?
Peyronie’s disease affects men of all ages, races, and ethnicities.
This health condition is most common among middle-aged white men, but experts say it can occur at any age.
Scarring can affect blood flow to the penis, causing it to become rigid and curved.
While some people experience pain with a curved penis, others don’t feel anything.
In rare cases, patients report numbness, tingling, or discomfort during sex.
If you notice any changes in the size or shape of your penis, see a urologist immediately.
What Causes Peyronie’s Disease?
The cause of Peyronie’s is unknown.
Some studies suggest that it could be related to penile trauma or inflammation following certain surgeries.
Specific medical treatments might also play a role.
There are a few risk factors that might increase your chances of getting Peyronie’s disease:
- Connective tissue disorders. Men with a connective tissue disorder are at a greater risk. Dupuytren’s disease, plantar fasciitis, and scleroderma are common connective tissue disorders.
- Erectile dysfunction. Men with diabetes-associated erectile dysfunction (ED) are four to five times more likely to develop Peyronie’s disease. Sometimes Peyronie’s disease causes erectile dysfunction.
- Age. This disease is more likely to occur as you age.
- Genetics. You’re at a higher risk if you have a close relative with the disease.
- Prostate cancer. Men who have had surgery for prostate cancer have a greater chance of developing this condition.
- Autoimmune disorders. Men with an autoimmune disorder like lupus are more likely to get Peyronie’s disease.
What Are The Symptoms Of Peyronie’s Disease?
Peyronie’s disease has three main symptoms: hardening of the penis, penis curvature, and painful erection.
Other symptoms include erectile dysfunction, numbness around the area of the penis, and scar tissue formation.
What Are the Stages of Peyronie’s disease?
The first stage of Peyronie’s disease occurs within weeks of sexual activity.
During this period, there is an increased level of collagen in the area surrounding the penis.
This causes thickened tissue to form around the penis.
Sometimes, the plaque forms into a lump that can be felt during intercourse. This is called a Plaquenil.
In the acute phase, there are no symptoms.
However, the plaque starts to grow over time.
If left untreated, the plaque continues to expand, causing scarring and curvature of the penis.
During the second stage, the plaque begins to harden and thicken.
At this point, you may notice some pain or discomfort during sex.
Your partner may feel like you aren’t penetrating deeply enough.
In the third stage, the plaque grows thicker and harder. Finally, your penis becomes misshapen and painful.
You may experience difficulty having erections.
In the chronic phase, the scar has stopped growing in this phase, so the curvature in the penis doesn’t get worse.
Is There A Difference Between Peyronie’s Disease And Penile Curvature?
Peyronie’s disease is a type of penile curvature that occurs in adult males.
Some men are born with penile curvature. This is called congenital curvature or chordee.
This is not due to scar tissue, and the condition does not change over time.
It might not be noticeable until puberty when a man begins having more regular erections.
Does Peyronie’s Disease Cause Erectile Dysfunction? (ED)?
Erectile dysfunction affects about 30 million American adults.
Erectile dysfunction can occur due to physical problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, prostate cancer, injury to nerves, medications, smoking, and alcohol use.
Depression and other psychological factors like stress, anxiety, relationship issues, and performance anxiety can also cause ED.
In some cases, ED is caused by a medical problem, such as low testosterone levels, hormonal changes due to aging, neurological conditions, or certain drugs.
There is no known cure for erectile dysfunction.
However, some treatments, like acoustic wave therapy for ED, help many men improve their sexual function and ability to have an erection.
Peyronie’s can lead to erectile dysfunction by inhibiting the normal blood trapping valves that are important for getting or maintaining an erection.
This scar tissue buildup could prevent blood flow to the erectile tissue making it hard to get or maintain an erection.
Treatments For Peyronie’s Disease
Currently, there isn’t a cure for Peyronie’s disease, but there are ways that the changes in the penis can be improved.
Penile traction therapy is when a device is used to stretch the penis and sometimes bend it in the opposite direction of the curvature.
This encourages the scar tissue to be recycled into more normal tissue and can improve curvature, restore length lost due to Peyronie’s disease, and even improve the hardness of erections.
Many healthcare providers use vacuum erection devices to treat Peyronie’s disease.
Traction therapy has seen better improvements in curvature due to it causing more of stretch on the scar tissue.
Medical therapies are also available.
There aren’t any oral medicines that are guaranteed to help with this condition 100% of the time. These oral medications that can help include:
- Pain Medications. Ibuprofen and similar medications can help minimize the pain and reduce inflammation.
- Tadalafil. Tadalafil helps increase blood flow in the penis and could prevent the scarring from worsening.
- Pentoxifylline. Pentoxifylline also improves blood flow, but some men report having an upset stomach.
- L-arginine. Is an amino acid that could increase blood flow.
- Colchicine. An anti-swelling agent.
- Potassium amino-benzoate (Potaba). This vitamin B-complex can help decrease plaque size but not necessarily the curve of the penis.
Some studies suggest that verapamil injection may work for penile pain and curving.
Surgical treatment is usually reserved for patients with severe penile curvature or erectile dysfunction that prevents intercourse.
What Questions Should I Ask My Doctor About Peyronie’s Disease?
You need to notify your healthcare provider if you notice a curve in your penis, especially one that worsens over time.
Look for these primary symptoms if you think you have plaque building up under the skin of your penis:
- There are lumps in your penis.
- Erections are soft.
- Sex is complicated due to the curvature.
- There is an hourglass shape to the penis or the loss of girth.
- Erections are painful.
- Your penis is shorter.
- Your penis is bent/curved.
When you visit your healthcare provider, you should ask these questions:
- What kind of surgery do you recommend?
- Do I need routine checkups?
- Will this go away, or does it need treatment?
- What happens if the bend gets worse?
- What treatments do you recommend?
- Do you think I should have surgery?
Some questions your doctor may ask you are:
- Do you have other medical problems or conditions, such as diabetes or an autoimmune disorder?
- Do you have pain during intercourse?
- Are you in pain currently or during sex?
- Is having sex difficult?
- Does a family member have Peyronie’s disease or Dupuytren’s contracture?
- How strong are your erections? Do you have erectile dysfunction (ED)?
- When did you notice the curve in your penis?
- What medications are you taking?
Contact Choice Men’s Health
If you’re having trouble getting an erection due to Peyronie’s disease, the best thing you can do is see a professional.
ED is very common, but no two patients with ED are alike, and treatments may vary significantly.
Erectile Dysfunction Clinics specialize in diagnosing and treating erectile dysfunction so you can get back in the bedroom.
The certified medical professionals at Choice Men’s Health offer personalized erectile dysfunction treatment options to help men reconnect with their partners.
We offer discreet and confidential one-on-one consultations and have a track record of success with our patients.
We’ll help you have an active sex life and improve your overall quality of life with our customized ED treatment plans.
If you are experiencing any erection issues or have questions about erectile dysfunction or Peyronie’s Disease, Choice Men’s Health is the best erectile dysfunction clinic in Atlanta, helping men have great sex again.
Schedule an appointment with our Atlanta ED Specialists to get started on your Erectile Dysfunction Treatment by calling (404) 400-3717 or filling out a form here.