There’s a reason why it seems as though Peyronie’s Disease is seemingly a hot topic of conversation when it comes to male health. It isn’t that PD is suddenly more prevalent; it’s likely more a combination of the nature of the ailment as well as one that has been closely associated with it: erectile dysfunction.
Peyronie’s Disease, also shortened to PD, is the medical name for what is more commonly known as a bent or curved penis. This curvature occurs as a result of dense scar tissue that develops under the skin of the penis. It can also bring with it painful erections.
The scar tissue associated with PD isn’t elastic like normal skin. It features less of these elastic fibers and more collagen—which can harden to resemble bone in extreme cases.
It’s estimated that as little as four out of one hundred or one out of every eleven men experience PD. This can obviously be a somewhat embarrassing challenge, and it has been hypothesized that this is why the exact number of cases can be hard to determine.
However, whether as a byproduct of pain or the suddenness of its onset, most men, even those who are otherwise healthy and are diagnosed with Peyronie’s Disease experience erectile dysfunction or impotence first.
While one diagnosis does not necessarily assume the other, the rise of more and more mainstream ED understanding and treatments is likely what has been behind the rising number of PD instances over the past half decade or so.
What Causes Peyronie’s Disease?
There is some emerging suggestion that PD can be genetic. This is because a positive family history has been noted in some patients, but this is not always necessary. Other connective disorders may also provide an early clue.
The most common theory posits that PD is a result of trauma. Said trauma could be the result of vigorous sexual activity, or even a sports injury. It certainly can be traced to penile fracture, but in more common cases it may be traced back to something more low-grade, like repeated sexual attempts with a weak or incomplete erection.
What Are the Symptoms of Peyronie’s Disease?
The symptoms of Peyronie’s Disease can either appear gradually or suddenly. Adding to potential confusion, PD can sometimes naturally revert. However, more often than not, the pain and curvature reach a stabilization point, or they worsen.
This again emphasizes why it’s imperative that men discuss their PD concerns with a qualified medical professional.
Additionally, as stated above, ED or lowered sex drive in men can also be associated with PD.
Typically, the onset is rather sudden, followed by a period of gradually worsening until stabilization is reached. This stabilization will usually occur after 3-12 months. Meanwhile, the erection pain may not subside for closer to 24 months. It’s here that the two separate kinds of PD diverge.
- Acute Peyronie’s Disease (Acute PD): Acute Peyronie’s Disease can be relatively short-term, taking place over 5-7 months, but possibly lasting as long as 18 before stabilization. This is when the collagen and plaque builds up and the curvature and pain manifest.
- Chronic Peyronie’s Disease (Chronic PD): Chronic Peyronie’s Disease is characterized by the hardening of the plaque, lessening of pain, and no further bending or curvature.
There is a chance that the PD will resolve itself naturally once the symptoms have achieved stability for around six months, but this does not typically happen. PD at its core is the result of the body’s natural healing reaction to wounds.
Men who have been living with PD for an extended period of time should not be discouraged from contacting their doctors about treatment, though. However, it’s only recommended should the curved penis begin to bother you or your partner, as treatment can still be helpful.
When Should I Worry About Peyronie’s Disease?
It’s first important to acknowledge that penises come in all manner of shapes and sizes, and a slight curvature can be natural. In addition, PD tends to affect middle-aged men ranging from 40 to 70 years old. However, there have been examples of Peyronie’s Disease in men in their 30s.
PD most commonly manifests itself as an upward bend in the penis, though curvature can also angle downward or to either side. PD can also be experienced in other penile deformities including:
- Hourglass shape
- Flat lumps
- Tight, narrow band around the shaft
Peyronie’s Disease can also cause pain in the genital area either with or without an erection, and cause discomfort or pain for your partner. It’s crucial for men who may believe they’re experiencing any abnormal penis curvature or painful erections to contact their doctor immediately.
Early diagnosis can help prevent PD from worsening, or even improve the condition. However, men who have been experiencing the effects of PD for some time can still pursue treatment for pain or curvature.
Can Peyronie’s Disease Be Treated?
There is no cure for Peyronie’s Disease, however, medical therapy, stretches, and surgeries can often lead to improvements.
Management of Peyronie’s Disease is largely dependent upon whether or not the effects have appeared to stabilize, and their subsequent severity.
As an example, penile ultrasonography—similar to acoustic wave treatment—can be utilized to determine the exact surgical method required.
Consult With the Experts in Men’s Health About PD
As stated above, consulting with a medical professional should be the first step men undergo should they have questions or concerns about Peyronie’s Disease.
Though it can be a scary and embarrassing concept, the truth is that, similar to other sexual dysfunctions like ED and premature ejaculation, advancements in the field can help slow or even reverse its effects.
Contact the men’s health experts at Priority Men’s Medical Center in Atlanta if you’re having issues with erectile dysfunction (ED) or premature ejaculation (PE) to schedule a consultation with an experienced and specially trained medical staff about your sexual health.