Peyronie’s disease is a scarring-related deformity of the penis, causing painful erections and limiting sexual performance.Not all men who have curved penises have Peyronie’s disease. But men who do have this condition, which affects penis shape by way of scar tissue developing too heavily in an area, will feel it. Peyronie’s disease can make erections painful and, in some cases, bend or reshape the penis so much that sexual activity becomes difficult—if not impossible. Those suffering from Peyronie’s can experience pain and disfigurement when the scarred area doesn’t stretch with the rest of the tissue in the penis during an erection.
Causes of Peyronie’s Disease
Peyronie’s disease is thought to be relatively uncommon (though many cases may be unreported). It’s also not yet fully understood: while penile injuries are believed to be the primary cause, they aren’t always reported by patients who get diagnosed with the disease.
Several factors are believed to increase one’s risk of developing Peyronie’s disease, including:
- Aging, especially over 50
- Connective tissue disorders
- Repeated injury to the penis, which can happen during sexual intercourse or athletic activities
Symptoms of Peyronie’s Disease
The symptoms of Peyronie’s disease are generally noticeable, though they do not always develop quickly. In addition to the telltale sign of scar tissue buildup underneath the skin, pain and curvature in that area, other things to look for include:
- Changes in shape, sometimes creating an “hourglass” or “dented” look
- Erectile dysfunction
Diagnosing Peyronie’s Disease
Generally speaking, a simple physical exam will be enough for a doctor to diagnose you with Peyronie’s disease. Less often, a doctor may call for an ultrasound or other forms of testing just to be sure.
Treating Peyronie’s Disease
Peyronie’s disease will resolve on its own in some cases, but more often requires some form of treatment to correct or manage. Your treatment options will vary depending on when you started having symptoms and when you sought medical attention for them, but the urology specialists at Tampa General Hospital know exactly how to find what works best for you at any stage.
If you seek treatment early, or within a few weeks, you can normally correct the problem with penile traction therapy. If it’s been a few months or more since your symptoms first appeared, you may be treated in one of the following ways:
- Penile traction therapy
- Injection treatments
- Corrective surgery
And if your condition is mild, neither causing pain nor inhibiting your sexual performance, you may be able to watch and wait for it to resolve on its own.