Peyronie’s disease is a commonly misunderstood condition impacting men’s sexual health.
While most men understand that erectile dysfunction (ED) is a physiological or psychological condition where the penis can’t get and maintain an erection hard enough for sexual intercourse, it’s often confused with Peyronie’s dissue.
Both can be physically and mentally painful conditions, but there are treatments available if you suffer from either ED or Peyronie’s disease.
Not all men are aware of what Peyronie’s disease is — much less if they have it. The prevalence of the disease in the United States is estimated to be 0.5% in adult males.
So let’s take this opportunity to discuss what it is, what are its symptoms, and if it has links to erectile dysfunction.
What Is Peyronie’s Disease?
Peyronie’s disease is a form of erectile dysfunction.
It’s a condition that causes the penis to bend in a certain direction, making it difficult or painful to have sex.
To be clear:
Just because your penis curves when erect does not mean you have Peyronie’s disease. But when erections cause you pain or if the bend in your penis is too much to bear, that’s when you should consult an erectile dysfunction doctor to confirm if you have it.
There are no studies that definitively confirm what causes Peyronie’s disease. Some attribute it to bleeding and scar tissue caused by trauma. For example, it could develop after an athletic event injury or from having rough sex.
But there are cases where the condition seemingly developed out of nowhere. Some speculate that it could be hereditary.
It’s been reported that Peyronie’s disease primarily affects men who are 45 to 60 years old.
The problem with Peyronie’s disease is that once you have it, it will likely remain as-is or worsen over time without medical intervention. If treated early, you could see an improvement and stop it from developing further.
Symptoms of Peyronie’s Disease
The rate at which Peyronie’s disease manifests is different. Some see it develop almost overnight while other men see it form gradually. That’s why it’s important to know what signs to look out for should you suspect that you have the condition.
Below are the symptoms of Peyronie’s disease.
- Plaque: The main telltale sign that you have Peyronie’s disease is a fibrous scar tissue called plaque under the skin of the penis. You’ll be able to tell that you have it as it can be felt on the penis. Plaques usually appear on top but they can also manifest on the bottom or the side of the penis.
- Bend In Penis: Your penis is bent upward, downward, or to the side.
- No Erection: Men can experience ED before experiencing Peyronie’s other symptoms.
- Penis Shortening: Peyronie’s disease can result in your penis becoming shorter.
- Penile Pain: See a doctor immediately if you start experiencing painful erections in your penis. This can occur with or without an erection.
- Penis Deformity: When erect, the penis will have a deformed shape that resembles an hourglass. A narrowing along the penis shaft could indicate Peyronie’s disease.
Those that experience pain will notice the symptom fade away as time goes on, typically between 1 to 2 years. However, the scar tissue that develops along with the penis shortening will remain unless treated.
Early detection is the key to avoiding the more serious complications that come along with Peyronie’s disease.
Men with Peyronie’s disease should seek help as soon as the symptoms occur to find treatment options and restore sexual function.
The Link Between Peyronie’s Disease and Erectile Dysfunction (ED)
There is a correlation between Peyronie’s disease and ED.
In most cases, men will experience the inability to get an erection just before they see symptoms of Peyronie’s disease.
In a study, 86 of 656 individuals who presented signs of ED had plaques consistent with Peyronie’s disease.
The painful erections caused by Peyronie’s disease also makes it harder to get and maintain an erection. It is also possible to get ED after getting diagnosed with Peyronie’s disease.
This is the reason why people link Peyronie’s disease to ED.
It should be pointed out though that getting ED does not mean you’ll also get Peyronie’s disease.
A medical professional can diagnose Peyronie’s disease. If you don’t have a primary care physician, a urologist can help you figure out what’s causing your symptoms.
The doctor will do tests which include a visual inspection of the penis to see if scar tissue has developed. Sometimes, an ultrasound is ordered to confirm the existence of scar tissue. The penis can also be measured to track if it’s getting shorter.
The side effects of ED and Peyronie’s disease are also similar. These include:
- Sexual anxiety
- Inability to erect the penis
A study showed that out of 1,001 patients who had Peyronie’s disease, 58.1% reported suffering from ED.
If you find yourself suffering emotionally because of the symptoms, you might want to consider consulting a psychologist as well or talking with your partner.
Treatments for Peyronie’s Disease
There are different routes you could take when it comes time to address Peyronie’s disease.
Medications to Treat Peyronie’s Disease
A common solution is through medication. Your doctor can inject medicine into your penis.
Many men are curious to understand if Viagra and Cialis works to treat Peyronie’s disease, but there is only one medication currently approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for Peyronie’s disease and that’s Xiaflex (clostridium hystolyticum). It’s administered to patients whose penises curve more than 30 degrees when erect.
The point of these injections is to break down the collagen buildup and hopefully prevent developing Peyronie’s disease any further.
Non-Surgical Methods to Treat Peyronie’s Disease
There are also beneficial non-surgical ED treatment options to treat Peyronie’s disease.
Shockwave therapy can help break down the scar tissue buildup. There’s also penile traction therapy which involves stretching the penis a couple of times a day for roughly 30 seconds. There are also vacuum devices you could use to improve blood flow to the penis.
Undergoing lifestyle changes can also help with ED symptoms, and often support other non-surgical treatments. You can quit smoking and alcohol. If you’re taking illegal substances, you should stop doing so. Frequent exercise will also support in restoring erectile function.
Surgery to Treat Peyronie’s Disease
In worse-case scenarios, surgery might be required to straighten the penis. This is especially true in situations where there’s severe penis deformity.
A surgery will address concerns like penis length. You could also be a candidate to receive penile implants.
Some surgeries will require surgeons to shorten the penis to correct the penile curvature. By doing so, the excess tissue on the longer side of the shaft is removed. This corrects the bend in the penis, so that the penis appears straighter.
Consult a Men’s Medical Professional For A Diagnosis
The medical professionals at Preferred Men’s Medical Center specialize in treating conditions that impact men’s health, including Peyronie’s disease.
Our concierge approach positions your unique case at the centerpoint of our focus. We don’t just give you a pill for ED and send you on your way. We treat the underlying issues that led to conditions such as ED, Low Testosterone, and more. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment.