Penile disorders are a common concern for men, as they lead to painful sex and general discomfort. They may often go undiagnosed for some time while they hamper your life in several ways.
While disorders of the penis might cause you to panic, early diagnosis and treatment are the best ways to resolve them. You should consult a doctor whenever you notice an abnormal growth, erection, or pain in your penis.
What Does Peyronie’s Disease Mean?
Peyronie’s Disease or PD is a non-cancerous penile disorder in which scar tissue grows inside the penis, leading to a curved erection. It can also affect the length or girth of the penis and may lead to painful sex or difficulty in holding an erection. It does not affect fertility but can hamper your sex life and cause pain and anxiety.
A curved erection doesn’t necessarily indicate the presence of this disease. A lot of men have slightly curved or bent erections naturally. However, if your erection looks more curved than usual, and you are facing pain or difficulties during sex, you may be suffering from the disease.
Peyronie’s Disease treatment is essential because the symptoms do not go away on their own. They may worsen with time if you do not opt for prompt treatment. If you notice any symptoms, you must consult a doctor at the earliest.
How Prevalent Is Peyronie’s Disease?
This disease is fairly common, and almost 3-10% of men around the globe suffer from Peyronie’s disease symptoms. It is most prevalent in men aged 40 to 70 and is less common in younger men. Also, the prevalence could be higher due to undetected cases, as some men do not feel comfortable consulting a doctor.
Interestingly, the prevalence of Peyronie’s Disease has increased in recent years. This could be because of higher detection due to lesser stigma around penile disorders. Also, the advances in erectile dysfunction treatment could have brought more patients to the forefront. More and more patients may be getting the appropriate treatment for the disease now as compared to earlier.
What Are The Different Types Of Peyronie’s Disease?
The disease is broadly classified into two types or stages:
1. Acute Phase
This is the early stage of the disease that may last from a couple of weeks to a year. In the acute phase, the scar tissue continues to grow inside the penis, changing its shape and curvature. Peyronie’s Disease symptoms during this stage include changes in the shape of the penis and painful erections.
2. Chronic Phase
This stage of the disease occurs after the acute phase. This is when the plaque or scar tissue stops growing further. In this stage, you will not notice any further changes in the shape or curvature of the penis. Also, there will be no pain during sex or erections. Peyronie’s Disease treatment for this phase will be different from that during the acute phase.
The Top Causes Of Peyronie’s Disease
- Penile Injury During Intercourse – According to studies, penile injuries during intercourse are the leading cause of the disease. These include severe injuries or multiple micro-injuries that can happen during sex. It is common for men to not realize when their penis is injured during intercourse, but the scar tissue may begin to develop internally. Vigorous intercourse is the primary culprit behind this penile disorder.
- Penile Trauma From Medical Procedures – Peyronie’s Disease symptoms can appear after an injury to the penis that leads to scar tissue growth. This penile disorder can occur after medical procedures that may injure the penis. These procedures include catheterization, cystoscopy, and prostatectomy. Hence, those who have undergone treatments for urological disorders or prostate cancer are at a higher risk.
- Smoking And Alcohol Consumption – Smoking and alcohol consumption are considered risk factors for Peyronie’s Disease. Population surveys indicate that men who smoke and drink are more likely to suffer from this penile disorder. While the direct relationship between the two is not fully understood, alcohol can cause metabolic disorders and blood circulation issues that may affect penile health.
- Diabetes And Hypertension – Diabetes and hypertension are other Peyronie’s disease causes. Diabetes mellitus can affect the fibrotic processes associated with the penile disorder. Hypertension causes circulatory issues that can also aggravate the symptoms of PD. These comorbidities are risk factors for the disease. If you suffer from these conditions, then you should get your penis examined after any sexual discomfort.
What Are The Common Symptoms Of Peyronie’s Disease?
- Change In Penis Shape – One of the first and easy to identify Peyronie’s disease symptoms is a change in your penis shape. Your penis may appear shorter or bent as compared to earlier. You may also notice a reduction in the girth of your penis. These are the signs of the acute phase of PD, and you should consult your doctor if you notice any of these.
- Lumps In The Penis – Peyronie’s disease causes include injuries that lead to the growth of plaque inside the penis. You may be able to feel the plaque as lumps if you physically examine your penis. These lumps can also be detected by an ultrasound scan. If you notice any growth, hardness, or lumpiness inside your penis, you could be suffering from PD.
- Soft Or Bent Erections – Any changes in your erection, be it in terms of hardness, curvature, or discomfort, might be Peyronie’s disease symptoms. While slightly bent erections are quite common, any noticeable change in the curvature of your erection is a red flag. Similarly, if you are not able to hold your erection, it could also be a sign of PD.
- Painful Intercourse – Plaque growth inside the penis can lead to discomfort in general as well as painful intercourse. You may experience anything from mild discomfort to severe pain during sex, depending on the amount of plaque. Also, your partner may experience pain during penetration due to the lumps in your penis.
What Are Methods To Diagnose Peyronie’s Disease?
Peyronie’s disease symptoms can usually be detected through a physical examination. Your doctor may palpate your penis to detect and quantify the growth of scar tissue. They may also ask you to share pictures of a recent erection to measure the curvature.
Additionally, the doctor may measure your penis across subsequent visits to detect any changes in length. These physical parameters are often sufficient for an accurate diagnosis.
In some cases, the doctor may order an ultrasound exam of your penis. In this case, the penis will be injected with a substance to induce an erection.
The erect penis is then checked via ultrasound. This exam can detect scar tissue growth and abnormal blood flow inside the penis. These markers can help to accurately diagnose PD.
Do remember that prompt Peyronie’s disease treatment is the best way to alleviate your symptoms. Do not hesitate to go in for a penis examination if you notice any symptoms.
Best Treatments For Peyronie’s Disease
Penile Traction Therapy – In Penile Traction Therapy, the length of the penis is restored with the help of a self-applied mechanical device. It tackles the penile deformities that Peyronie’s disease causes. The patient may have to use it for 30 minutes every day, but in some cases, longer durations of up to 8 hours are recommended. The therapy can be used during the acute and chronic phases of PD. It can also be used after surgical treatment for better outcomes.
- Oral Medications – According to studies, oral medications may be effective treatments for PD, particularly during the acute phase. These oral medicines include Vitamin E, Potaba, L-Carnitine, Colchicine, and Tamoxifen. Most of these medications have anti-inflammatory or antioxidant properties that reduce fibrotic growth in the penis. However, they are more effective during the acute phase and may not be suitable for chronic PD.
- Surgery – Your doctor may recommend surgery if Peyronie’s disease causes severe symptoms. Surgery is often used to treat chronic PD, particularly, if there is severe penile deformation or pain during sex. With surgery, the doctor can straighten your penis, remove the scar tissue, or add implants to make your erection painless and straight.
- Penile Injections – Penile injections or intralesional therapy is another Peyronie’s disease treatment. The penis is injected with Collagenase, Verapamil, or Interferon. These substances retard the growth of scar tissue inside the penis or break down the existing plaque. You will need to receive these injections for several months at periodic intervals. This type of therapy also combines well with traction therapy or oral medicines.
FAQs About Peyronie’s Disease
PD may not directly cause other diseases, but it can lead to anxiety and stress. Also, it could be an indicator of underlying illnesses like diabetes or cardiovascular diseases.
You can have sex, but it might be painful for you and your partner. This is because Peyronie’s disease causes lumps in the penis or a bent erection, resulting in uncomfortable intercourse. In some cases, you may not be able to hold the erection as well.
PD is considered a type of erectile disorder because it leads to painful, bent, or soft erections. You may not be able to hold an erection or might experience pain during stress.
No, PD is not cancerous and does not affect your fertility. However, its symptoms can worsen over time, leading to severe pain and penile deformities. Prompt Peyronie’s disease treatment is recommended for all patients.
Yes, PD can change the penis size and shape. It can make your penis smaller or bent and can even reduce the girth of the penis. With prompt Peyronie's disease treatment, these changes can be reversed.
Peyronie’s Disease is a common penile disorder that affects many men between the ages of 40 and 70. It may change the shape, size, and girth of the penis and cause painful, bent, or soft erections. It can be a matter of grave anxiety and discomfort for the patient as well as their sexual partner.
With a variety of effective treatments ranging from oral medicines to penile injections and surgery, you can restore your penile health with the help of your doctor. The earlier you get yourself treated, the better are the chances of a full recovery.
Every man must know about Peyronie’s Disease, its symptoms, and treatments. With this knowledge, you can beat this disorder with ease!