Author: John Ludlow, MD
Dealing with Peyronie’s Disease can be difficult. Since this condition can be painful and often frustrating, it may leave men who struggle with it feeling depressed and isolated. Although more than nine percent of men are affected by this healing disorder, some may be unwilling to talk about it with their healthcare providers. The good news is that Peyronie’s Disease is treatable—which is why you shouldn’t ignore the signs that you may have it, and speak up if you think you do. Since October 8th is National Peyronie’s Awareness Day, there’s no better time to engage in these important conversations.
What is Peyronie’s Disease?
Peyronie’s disease is a condition in which scar tissue builds up inside an area of the penis called the tunica albuginea. The result can be bending of the penis during an erection, which can also cause pain. If the condition is severe enough, it may be either difficult or impossible to have intercourse. Some men may also experience erectile dysfunction (ED).
Dr. John Ludlow of Western Michigan Urological Associates provides a brief overview of Peyronie’s Disease:
What causes it?
Some type of minor injury to the penis is likely what causes Peyronie’s Disease. Such an injury could occur during vigorous sex, athletic activities, or some kind of accident. There may be other environmental or genetic factors involved, too, since not all men who experience penile injuries develop Peyronie’s Disease. Such factors may include:
- having a close family member with Peyronie’s Disease;
- having certain connective tissue disorders; or
- having other health issues that may contribute to wound healing problems.
What are the signs of Peyronie’s Disease?
Since it can be difficult to talk about the symptoms of Peyronie’s Disease, some men may be reluctant to share their concerns. This is unfortunate, because this condition is treatable—with the chance for better outcomes sometimes linked to earlier treatment. The Urology Care Foundation lists six potential signs of Peyronie’s disease that men should speak up about:
- The penis curves when erect
- Shortening of the penis
- Narrowing or “hourglass” of the shaft of the penis
- Lumps in the penis
- Painful erections or pain during sex
- Soft erections
How is Peyronie’s Disease treated?
When treatment is needed, a conservative approach is usually the starting point. Treatment options may include:
- Plaque injections
- Evaluation with doppler ultrasonography
Certain men may be candidates for surgery as a treatment option. The type of surgery will depend upon certain factors—such as the length of time Peyronie’s Disease has been present, whether satisfactory intercourse is possible, and how stable the condition is.
How can I learn more?
These additional resources can help you learn more about Peyronie’s Disease:
- Association of Peyronie’s Disease Advocates
- Sex Health Matters—Sexual Medicine Society of North America
- Urology Care Foundation
If you think that you or someone you love may have Peyronie’s Disease, we can help. Please contact us today to make an appointment with one of our physicians.