Men who are experiencing painful erections with a significant bend may be suffering from Peyronie’s Disease. This harmful disease is caused by scar tissue called “plaque” that builds up inside the penis and can cause a side or upward bend, painful erections and in some cases erectile dysfunction.
Some men may be tempted to “wait it out” and hope that the problem corrects itself. There are cases where the body heals itself. However, if left untreated, Peyronie’s Disease can lead to an increased or permanent bend in the penis, which is why it’s important to contact your urologist if you’re experiencing any of the symptoms.
Symptoms of Peyronie’s Disease include:
- Penis pain
Men suffering from Peyronie’s Disease may experience pain during erection, without an erection, or both.
- Significant bend in the penis
Plaque caused by Peyronie’s Disease can cause an upward or sideways bend in the penis.
- Internal scar tissue
Peyronie’s Disease is caused by scar tissue known as “plaque” that can be felt inside the penis. In some cases, you may only notice this while the penis is erect.
- Erectile dysfunction
More severe cases of Peyronie’s Disease can lead to erectile dysfunction.
While researchers have yet to ascertain a specific cause for Peyronie’s Disease, doctors and researchers have come to believe that it may be a result of:
- Acute, chronic or repetitive internal injury or trauma to the penis
This trauma may or may not be remembered by the patient, as the injury results in internal bleeding within the penis, which then develops plaque as it heals.
- An auto-immune disorder
In some cases, the body’s immune system may be working against the patient, attacking its own cells and organs which can lead to plaque buildup. Patients may notice scars in places like the hand (Dupuytren’s contracture) or suffer recurrent plantar fasciitis.
What doctors do know is that the symptoms of this disease is caused by the plaque. While Peyronie’s Disease is most commonly found in middle-aged men, there is no age range for the diagnosis. It can occur in men both young and old.
Peyronie’s Disease is a serious condition that can have long-term effects. Should you be experiencing any of the symptoms above, you should make an appointment with your urologist immediately.
There are treatments available for Peyronie’s Disease, depending on the severity. After your doctor has conducted an evaluation, he or she will determine which treatment is necessary, if any. Treatment can be as simple as a prescription or injections. Patients at Gulfshore Urology have shown significant improvements after taking Xiaflex, a drug produced by Auxilium.
Should these treatments not yield results, surgery may be considered to remove the plaque or alter the tissue opposite of it to counter the bend in the penis. However, this is only in extreme cases in which erectile dysfunction caused by this disease prevents the patient from engaging in sexual activity.
The healing process for Peyronie’s Disease takes time, and usually varies anywhere between six to eighteen months.
Currently, there are no preventative measures established to avoid Peyronie’s Disease, as the exact cause is still unknown. However, researchers have found that a healthy, drug-free lifestyle with good diet and nutrition can help reduce your risk as can avoiding vigorous sexual activity that can cause major or microscopic injury to the penis.