Studies by Urology Care Foundation (UCG) show that 6 out of 100 men from their 40s are affected by Peyronie’s Disease. It is a penis problem, caused by plaque formation inside the penis. Painful sex, curved or bent penis and unable to get a stiff erection are all the symptoms of Peyronie’s disease. For some, it can even lead to erectile dysfunction. Generally, men suffering from this disease don’t have the strength to face their partner or doctors about it. Many feel embarrassed to talk about it. We suggest you let that go. It is time to visit a doctor if you find any of the mentioned symptoms.
For a few, the disease resolves on its own. Irrespective of the fact that it can be embarrassing and frustrating, it is important to tend to it as soon as possible. Visiting a doctor is the best thing you can do rather than trying different tactics to straighten your penis yourself because you might end up damaging the tissues more and worsening your situation.
What causes Peyronie’s disease?
There is no certain reason for Peyronie’s disease. It could be after a prior injury or an event such as prostate cancer treatment. About 50% of the patients could not recall a specific traumatic event that caused them to suffer from Peyronie’s.
A few of the possible factors that could increase the risk of suffering from this disease are:
- Injury to the penis, mostly due to strong sexual activity
- Prolonged duration of catheterization
- Radical prostatectomy
- Usage of vacuum erection devices, especially the ones with a constricting ring
- Genetic history of Peyronie’s disease
Though the above-mentioned factors aren’t really certain causes but, they can likely become one. There are many men who could have gone through the above events without developing Peyronie’s.
What exactly happens?
A thickened scar tissue occurs in the lining of the penis which manages erections. This scar tissue obstructs the blood flow which is required for erection when aroused, thereby leading to a curved penis or unable to develop an erection.
What are the symptoms and how it can be diagnosed?
- Curved penis
- Thickening of tissue or a swelling bump along the area of the penis
- Pain or painful sex
- Difficulty in achieving an erection
These are the symptoms and signs indicating Peyronie’s. It can be diagnosed by consulting a doctor, where the doctor may conduct a physical exam, or ultrasound after reviewing your medical or genetic history.
How can it be treated?
The type of treatment generally varies on how adverse your situation is. You can go for the treatments listed below which can heal you:
Though oral medications don’t completely cure Peyronie’s, they do help in reducing its effect. Popular recommended medications are Pentoxifylline or Vitamin E pills, which help improve blood flow as well as reduce plaque size and curvature respectively.
For those facing an acute phase of Peyronie’s, medications are directly injected into the scar tissue or plaques.
- Collagenase or Xiaflex is given for those whose penis has a curve of at least 30 degrees.
- Verampamil is used to reduce the curve or pain in the penis. It is generally used to treat high BP.
- Interferon-alpha 2b is a type of protein-infused drug, which is used to break down the scar tissue.
This option is suggested by doctors, for those whose condition is severe and chronically suffering due to this for almost a year. The surgical options used to treat Peyronie’s are:
- Plication is a procedure suggested for those who have good erections and do not mind losing a little penis length. The procedure involves a little nip and tuck on the opposite side of the curve to tighten the skin and bring it in line.
- Grafting is a process where the scar tissue is removed and replaced with a graft tissue (part of your body skin). It is recommended for men having good erections.
- Penile Implant is for those who have weak or no erection at all. It involves inserting silicone rods inside the penis to straighten and improve erections. It is also used to cure Erectile Dysfunction.
Never hesitate to discuss your problems openly with your partner and reach up to a doctor to get help.
Medically reviewed by Rishabh Verma, RP