Peyronie's disease is described as fibrous scar tissue inside the penis that causes curved, painful erections. This is a condition affecting 3 in every 100 males. Peyronie's disease causes abnormal lumps on the penis and if left untreated over time can result in erectile difficulty or erection curvature. Peyronie's disease can be mild, moderate or severe. It may appear suddenly, or progress slowly over time.
While there is often no known cause for peyronie's disease, it can often start with an infection, or an injury, such as bending the erect penis severely enough to rupture the membrane that covers the blood vessels. It begins in the membrane that covers the erectile tissue, often starting as a small, localised ache in the penis. A lump, known as plaques, can develop at the site of the ache, which contracts as it spreads, bending or kinking the erect penis. If it invades the erectile tissue, it interferes with blood flow, making an erection difficult. With progression of the peyronie's disease can eventually mean erections can become uncomfortable or painful, and are softer than usual. These symptoms are even more severe when there are many plaques.
While there is no known cure for peyronie's disease, for some unknown reason, the condition sometimes simply clears up. And while it is very important to get a medical check-up, the usual initial advice is to wait and see how it progresses.
If peyronie's disease does not resolve without intervention, there are oral and injectable medications, and non-surgical treatments that can help, if the symptoms persist and worsen. Ask to be referred to a urologist to explore these options. Many with peyronie's disease get good results by using a penile traction device (PTD) to lengthen the penis and reduce the curve. This can also be used before, or after, surgery to prevent penile shortening. Penile vacuum trainers (PVT) can also be recommended.
Nia Amaro is a health writer specialising in general wellness, women’s health, men’s health, pelvic floor dysfunction and gender dysphoria. Nia is a current contributor to The Profile Shop.
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