Peyronie’s disease is a disorder of male penis. It is characterized by;
- Tender lump in the penis.
- Painful penile bending.
- The curvature of penis may prevent or make sexual intercourse difficult.
It is not necessary that all the features are present at the same time. In the beginning, the lump may be felt which is usually in the shaft of penis. This lump is a fibrous scar tissue. Later on it may be followed by significant bending of penis when it is erect. When the penis is flaccid, it is not deformed; only on erection the bend may be noticed.
At least one percent of male suffer from this disease, there are still more that remain undetected due to various reasons such as negligence or due to lack of knowledge. The condition is largely seen in males between the ages 40 to 60; however it can also occur in young or old people.
What Causes Peyronie’s Disease?
The cause of Peyronie’s disease still remains unclear. However, experts believe several factors may be responsible. But before elaborating further, let us know few important anatomical features of penis to make the subject clearer.
There is a pair of soft cylindrical tubes called corpus cavernosum.
The corpus cavernosa is covered by tissue sheets called tunica albuginea. It is usually stretchable. But the sheet can get damaged when the penis is injured. A scar tissue can form which may prevent stretching in that particular region. As a result the penis bends around the scar causing a characteristic deformity indicating Peyronie’s disease.
Experts have not understood why some men may suffer from Peyronie’s disease while other men are not affected. They believe following factors may be responsible,
- Injury: it is the foremost cause of Peyronie’s disease. Fracture of penis, forceful bending of erect penis during vigorous intercourse, trauma during catheterization, medical cystoscopy are some of the injuries that can cause Peyronie’s disease.
- Heredity: There may be genetic predisposition.
- Aging: it may be related to age as the tissue is prone to easily get injured without proper healing.
- Vitamin E deficiency; though it is rare, but it can be associated cause for Peyronie’s disease.
- Diabetes, atheroscelrosis, smoking etc are other contributory factors for this disease.
Peyronie’s Disease Symptoms
- Formation of a lump in penile shaft is first sign of Peyronie’s disease. It can take one year or more than a year for its development. It can be felt on palpation.
- Pain in the shaft of penis felt at the time of orgasm or when the penis becomes erect. In severe cases it may be perceptible even with slight touch.
- Penile bending: the penis bends at the time of erection. It is significant bending which may not allow easy intercourse.
- The patient may be unable to have erection at all or he may not be able to maintain it. Patient may come to the doctor with history of erectile dysfunction.
- The size of penis becomes short.
Treatment For Peyronie’s Disease
Most doctors feel that, patient having peyronie’s disease should be watched for a couple of years without any invasive treatment. In many people, it has been observed that the condition improves without giving any treatment. In its milder form, the patient may not need any vigorous treatment. Also if there is no problem such as pain at the time of erection and the patient is able to perform well, there may not be a need for hurried treatment.
When the disease is severe, surgery and medical treatment are the two options available. However medications are not as effective as surgery. Surgical procedure involves removing the scar tissue that is responsible for bending of penis. However, surgery for peyronie’s disease has its own flaws, the patient may sometime not recover completely from the disease and some disability such as partial loss of erection can still remain. It may also shorten the penis size.
Generally peyronie’s disease is a self limiting disease. The pain may subside as time passes. The formation of scar tissue recedes and the bending stops at some point of time. Most patients who have Peyronie’s disease can still perform sexual intercourse.