Peyronie's disease results in the penis, when it is erect, becoming bent.
Whilst the cause of Peyronie's disease is not fully understood, the bend is caused by flat scar tissue or ‘plaques’ forming in the penis. The plaque actually builds up in the area of the penis called the tunica albuginea which is a thick elastic membrane which enables the penis to maintain its rigidity during an erection. The plaque can appear anywhere along the length of the penis and as it develops it will pull on the surrounding tissue which will result in the penis becoming bent, usually during an erection.
It is not uncommon for penis’s to curve slightly when erect, either to the left or to the right but if the curved erection causes pain or makes intercourse difficult or even impossible, it may be that the condition is Peyronie's disease.
Peyronie's disease may have a tendency to run in families, that is, if your father or brother suffers from Peyronies disease it is more likely, you are more likely to suffer
Whilst it is not common, some men may have more than one plaque which is likely to cause complex curves.
Peyronie's disease is not uncommon and appears to occur in about 6% of men between 40 and 70 years of age but has also been seen in men as young as their thirties. We have to consider when we look at the estimated figures that the real figure may be considerably higher as a result of many cases going unreported
This disease can seriously affect the quality of a sufferer’s life. More than three-quarters of men who are suffering Peyronie's disease are stressed or depressed or both; sadly, many men with Peyronie's disease are too embarrassed to consult with their doctor and so end up suffering in silence.
However, we have seen an increase of reporting of Peyronies disease in recent years which may be a result of new medication for erectile dysfunction being available which in itself is likely to result in more men with Peyronie's disease coming forward
There are several possible causes for the formation of the plaques in Peyronie's disease:-
While some men do not require treatment for the condition because the symptoms are not very severe, they do not experience pain and they do not have any problems with sexual intercourse. However, for other men there is quite a range of treatment which can be tried depending on how they are experiencing PD.
Surgery can be carried out to remove plaque in order that the penis is not curved during an erection.
Alternatively a small section of the penis can be removed and so compensating for the effect of the plaque in the penis and causing it to straighten - this may result in the penis being slightly shorter
Finally, the urologist may consider implanting a device to straighten the penis
Urologists recommend that surgery should not be considered until there is the stability of plaque and so the bend.
Injections directly into the plaque can be done in the acute phase of the disease
Currently, there aren’t any medications available that have proved to be effective in straightening the penis
However, when the disease has had the effect of causing erectile dysfunction, it may be that the class of drugs known as PDE inhibitors which includes Viagra and Cialis for example, could be considered to aid with this particular issue
There are some mechanical devices designed to stretch or bend the penis to reduce curving
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