Peyronie’s disease (PD) is typified by a curved penis. Like most things in nature, men’s penises vary in size and shape.
It is not unusual to have a slightly curved penis when erect, and it isn’t necessarily a cause for alarm.
The natural curve to the penis is what we call a “congenital curve.” That simply means it is a normal curve to the penis that you were born with, and is nothing to worry about.
However, men with Peyronie’s disease have a significant bend or curvature to the penis, often accompanied by pain. It is the degree of curvature that distinguishes Peyronie’s disease from a “normal,” or congenital curve.
Peyronie’s disease is characterized by the development of fibrous scar tissue inside the penis. It is this scar tissue that causes the curved, painful erections associated with Peyronie’s.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Peyronie’s Disease?
Peyronie’s disease is marked by a penis that curves when erect. It is often accompanied by a shortening of the penis, a narrowing of the shaft of the penis, painful erections, and/or erectile dysfunction.
It is very important to be able to distinguish the signs and symptoms of Peyronie’s Disease from a normal curvature of the penis. Some curvature of the penis can be normal. It is only Peyronie’s and possible cause for concern if:
- The curvature to your penis developed suddenly, and seems to worsen over time
- The curvature in your penis is associated with scar tissue. Often the scar tissue of Peyronie’s can be felt as lumps below the skin of the penis
- Your penis curves significantly to one side, up, or down
- The curve in your penis is accompanied by erectile dysfunction
- The curvature of your penis is accompanied by pain
- The bend to your penis makes it difficult, or impossible to enjoy normal sexual relations
Not all the problems with Peyronie’s Disease are physical. Men with a curved penis can be embarrassed, which can cause a lack of self-confidence leading to performance anxiety and erectile dysfunction. Men with Peyronie’s disease are also often suffering from depression and low self-esteem.
What Causes Peyronie’s Disease
The causes of Peyronie’s are still not 100% clear, but the most commonly held belief for the cause of Peyronie’s disease is that it occurs from repeated injury to the penis. For example, from damage during vigorous sexual activity, sports such as mountain biking, or as the result of an accident. However, most often, when presenting with the condition, patients usually do not recall a specific trauma occurring to their penis.
Sometimes Peyronie’s does come on gradually, and does seem to occur without injury. Research is currently underway to determine if there are genetic factors or other disease conditions that could contribute to the development of Peyronie’s disease.
How is Peyronie’s Disease Diagnosed?
If the degree of curvature is such that you suspect you may have Peyronie’s, in most cases a physical exam is all that is required for a skilled physician to make a diagnosis of Peyronie’s Disease. Touch is usually sufficient to feel the scar tissue, and confirm that the curvature is Peyronie’s Disease. On rare occasions, if the lumps feel unusual, your doctor may request an ultrasound or other imaging technique to rule out cancer or some other abnormality.
How is Peyronie’s Disease Treated?
In some rare instances, Peyronie’s disease goes away on its own. But in most cases, the condition stays the same, or may worsen. If your Peyronies is having a significant impact on your ability to perform sexually, there are treatment options available.
Medication – There is one FDA approved prescription drug for Peyronie’s. It is called Xiaflex. It is designed to break down the plaque causing the curve.
Surgery – In some of the most severe cases of Peyronie’s, surgery is suggested to correct the curve. There are several surgical interventions to treat Peyronie’s.
PRP for Peyronie’s – PRP is a drug-free, surgery-free treatment for Peyronie’s Disease. Originally developed as an ED treatment, PRP injections for Peyronie’s, not only help cure ED, they reduce the curvature typical of the disease. PRP treatments for Peyronie’s include the P-shot and the Gains Enhancement®.
Acoustical Wave Therapy – The latest, and most remarkable drug-free, surgery free treatment for Peyronie’s uses pulsed soundwaves to break down the scar tissue typical of the disease. The GAINSWave™ for Peyronie’s is our own propriety soundwave treatment.
Peyronie’s Disease FAQs
How long does Peyronie’s Disease Last?
On rare occasions Peyronie’s Disease may clear up on its own. But, usually it will be a chronic, or long-term condition without treatment.
How common is Peyronie’s Disease?
Peyronie’s Disease is believed to effect approximately 10% of the male population, so it is fairly common.
Can Peyronie’s Disease be prevented?
Basically, the best way to prevent Peyronie’s is to be kind to your penis! Never attempt to bend or fold an erection. Avoid very rigorous sexual activity, or “unusual” positions. There have been medical reports on rare occasions of oral ED medications, such as Viagra causing Peyronie’s Disease. Peyronie’s disease seems to be more common in men with diabetes, high blood pressure, or who smoke. Though doctors cannot draw any specific coalitions, it is safe to assume that a healthier overall lifestyle, could lesson your risk of PD.
Can men with Peyronie’s Disease engage in sex?
There are men with Peyronie’s disease who do just fine sexually. Some men with Peyronie’s have even reported that their partners find the curve “unique and interesting.” But for others, Peyronie’s can make it difficult, or painful to have intercourse. Peyronie’s can be embarrassing, and cause stress and anxiety. It can lead to erectile dysfunction for both physical, and “emotional” reasons.
Can Peyronie’s Disease sometimes be more serious, like a sign of cancer?
Finding a lump in your penis can be very scary indeed! But, if so, it is most likely Peyronie’s disease. Cancer of the shaft of the penis is a very rare condition. While cancer could present in a similar way as Peyronie’s, the two conditions are not related, and your doctor will be able to distinguish between them upon examination.