Peyronie’s Disease – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment
Peyronie’s disease is a condition that results in flat scar tissue on the penis. If you have Peyronie’s disease, your penis may bend up, down or to the side based on the location of the scar tissue. This can lead to a curved penis, pain and difficulty to have sexual intercourse. Some men with this disease may not have a curved penis, but can have an indentation.
In some cases, Peyronie’s disease gets cured without any treatment. But in most cases, the disease remains as it is or may become worse over time. The treatment for this condition can help reduce your signs.
Common Signs of Peyronie’s Disease
If you have Peyronie’s disease, you may either develop signs slowly or suddenly. The common signs of this disease include the following:
- A curve or bend in the penis
- Scar tissue
- Erection problems
- Soft erections
- Reduced size of the penis
- Penile pain with or without an erection
- Difficulty to participate in sexual intercourse due to bent or curved penis
- Lumps in the penis
If you ever experience any of the above-mentioned signs, consider visiting a doctor for an early diagnosis. This is because this condition can affect your quality of life and can lead to stress and anxiety.
What Causes Peyronie’s Disease?
The exact reason for Peyronie’s disease is unknown. But it is believed to be due to repeated injury to the erected penis. But many men do not remember the moment when the changes have begun in the penis. The injury can happen during sex, athletic activity, or due to an accident.
The injury to the penis can lead to scarring during the recovery phase. This can lead to a curved or bent penis. Everyone who injures their penis may not get Peyronie’s disease. There can also be several genetic and environmental factors that can cause this disease.
The risk factors for developing Peyronie’s disease include:
- Family history of Peyronie’s disease
- Men of any age group can get this disease, but the chances increase as you get older
- Connective tissue disorders
- Erectile dysfunction (ED)
- Prostate cancer
- Autoimmune diseases
- Mild trauma to the penis
Different Stages of Peyronie’s Disease
Peyronie’s disease is broadly classified into two stages. Your bent or curved penis in both the phases can make it difficult to have sex. The two stages are:
- Acute phase: The acute phase of Peyronie’s disease lasts for about 6 to 18 months. At this phase, you may develop scar tissues in the penis and the curve of the penis starts to worsen. You may also experience pain when the penis becomes hard.
- Chronic phase: It is the stage where the scar tissue no longer develops and the curve also does not get worse. You do not experience much pain in the chronic stage.
Diagnosis and Treatment for Peyronie’s Disease
The doctor can diagnose Peyronie’s disease with a physical examination. The doctor will also ask questions about your signs and your medical history. The scar tissue can be identified with a physical exam. In some cases, other tests may be conducted to rule out other causes of your signs such as ultrasound of the penis.
The treatment for Peyronie’s disease is based on your signs and how long you are experiencing them. If the curvature is mild and it is not causing pain and difficulty to have sex, then no treatment is required. If the doctor determines that you need treatment, the treatment options include:
- Lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking, alcohol and practising regular exercise
- Traction therapy
- Oral medications
- Penile injections
- Penile prosthesis
- Grafting surgery
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