Peyronie’s disease occurs when scar tissue or fibrous plaque forms and builds up inside the shaft of the penis. It results in an abnormal penile curvature. The buildup of scar tissue can be due to trauma to the penis that causes internal bleeding. You may not notice the injury or trauma until symptoms occur. Some cases of Peyronie’s are genetic while others can be linked to both injury and genetics.
Although most men with Peyronie’s can still have sex, it can be painful for some and cause erectile dysfunction. The symptoms of Peyronie’s Disease may develop slowly or overnight. Symptoms can be hard to notice when the penis is soft but they become noticeable when erect. Most men won’t experience pain during an erection or intercourse.
In severe cases, the hardened buildup of plaque impedes flexibility and forces the penis to bend at an unnatural angle when erect, causing pain. This pain can ease over time, but the bend in the penis may worsen.
Your doctor will examine the penis to feel the hardened tissue. They may need to examine the penis while it is erect; medicine will be injected into the penis to cause an erection. You may require an ultrasound or an X-Ray.
Depending on the severity of the Peyronie’s, you may not require treatment. Your doctor may recommend that you wait a year or two. In most cases, especially mild cases, the condition improves on its own. If the condition is not affecting your sex life, a waiting period will be suggested before you seek treatment.
Treatment options include:
- Penile injections
- ESWT (extracorporeal shockwave therapy)
- Surgery to remove scar tissue and replace it with tissue graft
- Penile prosthesis – an option for men with Peyronie’s and erectile dysfunction