Many of you may not be familiar with what Peyronie’s Disease is all about. When spoken in easier terms, Peyronie’s Disease also means penile curvature. This is a disease where a plaque forms in the male organ, the penis.
As this plaque builds up, the man’s penis will curve or bend which results to painful erection. Sexual intercourse is a pleasurable thing for most people, but it can be painful and really hard to a person with this kind of disease. Sometimes, it can even lead to impossible sexual relations due to its overbearing pain.
In earlier times, researchers thought that Peyronie’s Disease or Penile Curvature Treatment was some kind of impotence. This impotence, however, was later given the medical term Erectile Dysfunction (ED). Though some men who have Peyronie’s Disease may have Erectile Dysfunction, it doesn’t mean that men with ED have Peyronie’s Disease.
If you are still at a lost on what this disease is all about, we have prepared here a list of the must-know facts about Peyronie’s Disease (Penile Curvature) to help widen your knowledge about this particular condition.
8 Must Know Facts About Penile Curvature
- 3-7% of the male population worldwide suffers from Peyronie’s Disease.
- In a study of those with Peyronie’s Disease, 77% were affected psychologically and one out of four has relationship problems.
- It happens in six out of 100 men between ages 40 to 70.
- Though rare in younger men, it can be seen in those men who are on their 30s.
- 13 out of 100 men who have Peyronie’s Disease can get fibrosis on other parts of their bodies too.
- Peyronie’s Disease does not lead to cancer even if the plaques act like cancer cells do.
- In the acute phase, 30-40% of the cases can worsen, 10-20% may get better, while 50% remains the same.
- 10-25% of men with Peyronie’s Disease have a claw-like deformity where the little finger, ring finger and other fingers bend over to the palm of their hands. This deformity is known as Dupuytren’s Contracture.
Causes of Penile Curvature
Unfortunately, the exact cause of the disease is not yet known. Researchers suggested some possible causes of plaque formation in the shaft of the penis, and these possible causes are:
- Use of beta-blocking drugs
- Deficiency of Vitamin E
- Increased levels of serotonin
- Genetic or hereditary issues (e.g. men with tissue disorders such as tympanosclerosis and those who have close family member with the disease have a greater chance of acquiring it.)
- Autoimmune diseases which target the body’s own immune system to attack its own cells and organs
- Trauma to the penis (e.g. vigorous sex activities, sports or accidents)
- There are two stages in Peyronie’s Disease. In both stages, the disease will cause problems during intercourse.
- Acute Phase (6-18 months). The plaque forms in the penis and the bending/curvature worsens. Pain is also felt when the penis stiffens, and the acute stage usually has the highest pain.
- Chronic Phase (18-24 months). Less pain is felt and the penis does not bend further. The plaque also stops growing, but it will become harder to treat. Large calcium deposits may also develop at this stage.
Symptoms Of Peyronie’s Disease:
- Presence of plaque forming mostly on the top of the penis, though it can also form at the bottom or at the sides.
- Bent or curved penis with or without erection
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- Painful erections
- Soft erections
- Narrowing or shortening of penis
- Anxiety or stress
- Inability to have intercourse
- Presence of lumps in the penis
- Erectile dysfunction
How can a person be diagnosed with the condition? The doctor will be able to diagnose the Penile Curvature by conducting a physical exam. He will check for the development of hard plaque on the penis since it is visible whether it is erected or not.
A medical and family history may also be taken for additional information when diagnosing. Moreover, the doctor may use imaging tests such as dynamic ultrasound to see where the plaque is, as well as to check for the blood flow in the area and if there is calcium build-up.
The primary goal of the treatment for Peyronie’s Disease is to reduce pain and bring back the ability to experience pleasure during sexual intercourse.
Penile Curvature Treatment
1. Nonsurgical Treatments
Drugs can be given orally or through injections. Some examples of oral medications include vitamin E, tamoxifen, potassium para-aminobenzoate, colchicines, pentoxifylline and acetyl-L-carnitine. While injectable drugs include steroids, verapamil, collagenase and interferon alpha 2b.
Medical therapies such as radiation therapy and shock wave therapy will help treat the condition. Having a focused and high-intensity ultrasound that is directed straight to where the plaque is will also help.This process involves passing low-level electric current through the skin where the plaque is to decrease its size and curvature.
Use of mechanical traction and vacuum devices. Traction and vacuum may sound scary, but the use of these equipments on Peyronie’s Disease will help treat the stretching or bending penis by decreasing its curvature.
2. Surgical Treatment
Like in many other medical diseases, surgery is often the last resort. Surgery is only used in the treatment of Peyronie’s Disease if nothing else seems to work. Some surgeries, however, will still not provide guaranteed results. Hence, medical experts would suggest for a one year waiting period from the onset of symptoms prior to undergoing any of the following surgical methods:
- Penile prosthetic devices can be implanted
Do you think that there is a good prognosis for Penile Curvature Treatment? Well, it depends. The prognosis can be from good to poor since it depends on a lot of factors. The response of the patient’s body to treatment will play a significant role to know whether there is a good prognosis or not. Also, the emotional response of the person affected to the symptoms felt and the treatments are also important factors.