What is Peyronie’s Disease

What you should know about Peyronie’s disease and how to treat it

What is it?

Peyronie’s Disease is a condition that affects men through the development of fibrous scar tissue inside the penis causing curved and painful erections. Curved erections are actually very common, but the disease, in particular, causes noticeable amounts of bend and pain that make it a significant and unnatural problem. Peyronie’s Disease can be so painful that it can actually prevent men from maintaining an erection and from having sex; this alone is a major concern due to the high amounts of stress and anxiety that can weaken and take a significant toll on someone’s state of mind. This particular condition affects approximately 1% of the world’s male population, mainly men between the ages of thirty and eighty years old, that said, younger men can also be prone to the disease.

Causes

Like most medical conditions, Peyronie’s Disease hasn’t been completely understood and therefore, its nature is still frequently questioned. In spite of much research the causes  are still unclear, many believe and argue that the plaque, fibrous scar tissue or lumps as they are often called, are generated and directly related to trauma (injury) that in exchange generates bleeding inside the penis. Genetics have also been studied and analyzed, and while it’s highly likely that they play a big part in the development of the condition, there is still quite a bit of research needed to completely prove this assessment. It’s worth mentioning that athletes regularly suffer from Peyronie’s due to the repeated trauma caused from athletic activities.

Symptoms

Bent Penis with Peyronie's disease
Photo courtesy Wikipedia

The symptoms presented with the existence of Peyronie’s Disease are very clear and easy to diagnose, these symptoms may suddenly appear or gradually develop over time. The first sign of the disease is the obvious scar tissue, plaques or lumps as they are commonly known as. The plaques can be felt under the skin of the penis and are very easy to spot and diagnose. The other major sign that points to this condition is a significant bend to the penis: if it’s curved upward, downward or bent to the side it’s a clear sign that the individual suffers from the disease, in some cases the penis may even present narrowness in a particular area. The last two symptoms are also very noticeable, these being constant erectile dysfunction and pain in the genital area with or without an erection.

Treatment

Peyronie’s Disease can be treated through different methods, some being more dangerous than others. Medication is probably one of the safest ways to treat it but it’s still painful due to the nature of the treatment, the FDA approved Xiaflex a while back, this medication breaks down the scar tissue and it’s only available in an injectable form.

Surgery

The second alternative which is also the most dangerous and expensive consists of a special surgery in which surgeons can either remove the scar tissue and follow-up by placing a tissue patch to begin the healing process or through a different surgery that involves the removal of tissue from the opposite side of the plaque to counteract the disease’s bend effect. The main problem with surgeries other than the cost is that they do not guarantee normal penis function as going through this process involves partial loss of erectile function and a noticeable shortening of the erect penis.

Physical therapy and penis extenders

Self-administered stretching techniques have been studied and show promise of reversing the condition, other men have had good success using penis stretchers “traction device” which have also had an effect on helping reduce plaque and straightening the penis. There are even some companies that sell special kits to treat Peyronie’s that include a penis stretcher, along with supplements containing Amino Acids and special enzymes that work together to help elimate plaque and straighten the penis.

One last thing worth mentioning is that in many cases Peyronie’s Disease can slowly fade away without the need of undergoing any sort of medical treatment but every case is different and should, therefore, be consulted with a medical expert.

Conclusion

Most cases a curved or bent penis can be easily treated,  and it’s not the end of the world, if you begin to show signs of possible plaque buildup consult your doctor, he will most likely prescribe some basic exercises and supplements to help treat the symptoms before the disease advances further.