Peyronie’s disease is a condition which scar tissue, otherwise known as plaque, builds up inside the penis. This causes painful erections where the penis bends upward or to the side. Most men who have this disease can still have sex, but it is extremely painful.
Curved erections are common and if you are a man who experiences this, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have Peyronie’s disease. The shape and size of penises varies from man to man.
In Peyronie’s disease, the penis bends significantly when erect, and is painful. The consequences of this are that the sufferer may not be able to have sexual intercourse or they might experience erectile dysfunction (problems with achieving or maintaining an erection). This disease also causes the afflicted to experience extreme stress and anxiety as a result of this pain and discomfort.
Occasionally, Peyronie’s disease goes away without any need for treatment. This tends to be the case in less severe cases of Peyronie’s disease, however these people tend to be the exception more so than the rule. Unfortunately, most men will find that their condition either remains stable or gets worse. If the curve in the penis is stopping the sufferer from having sex normally, treatment may be needed. The cause of Peyronie’s disease is not fully understood however it is believed to be the result of a combination of injury and genetics.
What are the causes of Peyronie’s disease?
Although the cause of Peyronie’s disease is not fully known or understood, it is believed that it may be causes by multiple factors.
Peyronie’s disease is believed to occur as a result of numerous injury or trauma to the penis, which is thought to be the result of blunt force trauma. This can occur from sports, exercise, or from sexual activity.
After injury to the penis, the body attempts to repair the damage done via the formation of scar tissue, which forms a hard thick plaque in the penis, which results in a curve when erect. The formation of scar tissue occurs after each injury, so plaque can potential form in more than one area of the penis, compounding and complicating this issue.
The reason why someone suffering from Peyronie’s disease experiences pain only when erect and not flaccid is due to the physiology of the penis. This is because when a man become sexually aroused, the brain signals your cardiovascular system to divert blood flow to the penis, which causes the penis to fill with blood. When the blood flows to the penis, the membranes around the spongy tissue in the penis stretch, which causes the penis to expand, straighten and stand erect.
An individual with Peyronie’s disease will experience the same physiological changes however the development of the scar tissue in the penis as a result of this disease causes the penis to become inflexible. Since the penis is limited in how flexible it is, the force of this expansion as a result of the increased blood flow to the penis causes it to bend. This bending is what causes the tremendous pain and discomfort that those who suffer from Peyronie’s disease experience.
The development of progression of Peyronie’s disease varies from individual to individual, and can be the result of injury or genetics. In some men, the gradual development of this disease is thought to be genetic. This is because these individuals have not experienced and blunt force trauma that could be responsible for such a change. It is still unknown whether or not these genetic links to the disease are the result of inheritance or are the result of environmental conditions. Research is still currently transpiring, in an attempt to discern the cause of this disease.
What are the symptoms?
- The symptoms of Peyronie’s disease include the following:
- Penis is twisted or bent when erect
- Plaque buildup in the shaft of the penis in the form of a hard lump
- Extreme pain and discomfort when the penis is erect, symptoms subside when flaccid
The hard plaque in the penis makes it less flexible. The amount of hard plaque formations in the penis varies from individual to individual, however in most cases only one plaque will form.
Sexual issues may result from Peyronie’s disease, in that the scar tissue within the penis makes it difficult to keep an erection or to even get an erection period.
Peyronie’s disease also has multiple stages, a short term phase which lasts in between 3-6 months which is the period in which the penis experiences this trauma, and the formation of the scar tissue by our body in response to this trauma. The second phase which is long term may last up to a year and in this period the disease will become stable.