What is Peyronies disease?
Peyronie’s disease (PD) is a syndrome that can cause penile curvature, pain, and a localized hard lump or plaque in the penis. The condition can make getting erections and having sexual intercourse difficult or impossible. The curvature of the penis caused by Peyronie’s disease can range from mild to severe, and many men develop this condition without knowing that there is a name for what they have.
Mild Peyronies disease
Mild Peyronie’s disease is a relatively common disorder that can affect many men. It is a non-cancerous condition in which scar tissue or hard lumps form inside the penis, causing it to bend or arc during an erection. Mild PD does not usually require medical treatment, or cause pain, but can be distressing due to its noticeable eternal appearance. However, men who are having difficulty maintaining sexual activity due to pain or other symptoms may benefit from some available treatments.
Severe Peyronie's disease
Severe Peyronie’s Disease (SPD) is a chronic and debilitating condition that can affect the penis to become abnormally curved or bent due to an accumulation of plaque in the tissue. While less common, this form of Peyronie’s Disease can be far more serious and can cause pain during sexual activity or while urinating, penile distortion, and difficulty with erections. The condition can also lead to a weakening or bending of the penis as well as a decrease in length or circumference.
How common is Peyronie's disease?
PD is not often talked about, and accurate estimates of its prevalence are somewhat difficult to establish due to the secretive nature of diagnosis. It can lead to chronic pain, sexual dysfunction, and other emotional issues. However, estimates indicate that between 4 and 10 percent of the male population experience some degree of Peyronie’s Disease at some point in their lifetimes. Additionally, up to 35% of men who experience erectile dysfunction are also diagnosed with Peyronie’s Disease, making it an important factor to consider when diagnosing and treating ED.
Peyronie's Disease Causes
What causes Peyronie's disease?
While the exact cause of Peyronie’s disease is unknown, many medical experts believe that Peyronie’s may be caused by an abnormality in collagen metabolism, trauma or injury to the penis, such as during sex or sports activities, and genetic predispositions. The disorder can also occur alongside other conditions such as Diabetes and Dupuytren’s contracture, a hand disorder characterized by thickening and tightening of connective tissue. Other research suggests that environmental factors, and even autoimmune disorders may be involved in some cases.
- Trauma & Injury
- Autoimmune disease
- Infection from STD
- Vigorous sexual activity
Peyronie's Disease Symptoms
What are some symptoms of Peyronie's disease?
While not life threatening. Peyronie’s disease can have a multitude of signs and symptoms that can cause physical/psychological distress to develop over time. The most common symptoms men feel are pain in or around the penis during an erection and a lump, similar to a scar tissue, forming on the shaft of the penis. Other PD symptoms include curved or bent penis shape, hardened nodules or bands on the shaft of the penis, narrowed area, shorter looking penis when erect, or physical difficulty with intercourse.
- Discomfort during erections
- Difficulty with intercourse
- Erectile dysfunction
- Lumps & Indentations
Does Peyronie’s cause erectile dysfunction?
While Peyronie’s disease is known to impact erectile function, it may not always be the underlying cause of erectile dysfunction. However, in some cases if the curvature of the penis due to Peyronie’s disease causes pain or discomfort during intercourse it could contribute to ED.
In addition, approximately 45% of men diagnosed with PD often experience difficulty achieving an erection, as well as pain during or after sex.
Peyronie's Disease Treatment
Understanding the best treatments for the disorder is key to achieving relief. Depending on the severity of the condition, various options are available to address altered anatomy, pain, and other symptoms.
Milder cases of PD may resolve themselves with time and conservative treatments like oral medications, or topical ointments may also help with symptoms. Other alternative treatments such as Xiaflex injections (collagenase) work to break down scar tissue, and the P-Shot utilizes the regenerative properties of cells to reduce the symptoms of Peyronie’s disease.
- Regenerative medicine
- Oral medications
- Physical therapy
For more severe cases surgery may be recommended; this could involve placing devices within the penis or even reconstructive procedures to remove plaque build up, restore normal anatomy and sexual function.