What is peyronie's disease?

Peyronie's disease

Peyronie's disease is caused by scar tissue in the penis, which makes the penis curve during an erection. This curving may cause pain and make sexual intercourse difficult or impossible.

Peyronie's disease usually affects people who are 50 and older. It usually doesn't get better on its own. If you choose to get treatment, your options may include medicines or surgery.

What can you expect if you have Peyronie's disease?

At first, the most common symptoms are painful erections and a curve in your penis. Later on, the pain may get better or go away completely. But the curve in the penis may remain.

The curve is most easily seen during an erection. It may be so severe that intercourse is not possible. You may not be able to keep an erection.

Sometimes the disease gets better on its own. If it doesn't get better on its own, you may need treatment if you have painful erections or the disease gets in the way of your sex life.

What are the symptoms of Peyronie's disease?

Symptoms of Peyronie's disease may develop slowly or suddenly. Common symptoms include:

  • A lump or thickening along the shaft of the penis that is most noticeable when the penis is soft (flaccid).
  • A bent or curved appearance of the penis that is most noticeable when the penis is erect.
  • A narrowing of the erect penis that causes an hourglass shape to the penis.
  • A painful erection. Some people do not have pain with an erection but have tenderness when the lump along the side of the penis is touched.
  • An inability to keep an erection or problems with the entire penis being erect. Some parts of the penis may be more rigid, usually nearest the body, while the areas closer to the tip of the penis may be less rigid.
  • An inability to achieve penetration during intercourse.

How is Peyronie's disease treated?

  • NSAIDs such as ibuprofen (Advil) or naproxen (Aleve) can help treat pain.
  • Surgery may help. But it is usually only used if you can't have intercourse. Experts usually suggest that before trying surgery, you wait at least a year.
  • Counseling or sexual therapy may be useful for problems with sexual intimacy caused by the disease.

How is Peyronie's disease diagnosed?

Peyronie's disease is usually diagnosed using a medical history and physical exam. Your doctor will ask you questions about when you first noticed your symptoms and whether the symptoms were gradual or sudden. This will help determine which stage of Peyronie's disease you are experiencing.

Because symptoms of Peyronie's disease are usually most noticeable when the penis is erect, your doctor will likely ask that you use your cell phone to take a photo of your erect penis. Or your doctor may inject a drug into your penis to make it erect. This will help your doctor see where the curve is and how severe it is. Other tests that may be ordered include:

  • An X-ray or ultrasound, to produce a picture of the structures within the penis.
  • Doppler flow studies, which use sound waves to monitor blood-flow patterns.

What causes Peyronie's disease?

Although the exact cause of Peyronie's disease is unknown, some experts think the scarring may be caused by minor injuries to the penis during sexual intercourse. Peyronie's disease is not caused by cancer and does not increase the risk of cancer. It is not caused by sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

What is Peyronie's disease?

Peyronie's disease is an abnormal curvature of the penis caused by scar tissue in the lining of the penis. Because the scar tissue prevents straightening of the penis, the curvature is most obvious during an erection. The curvature may cause pain for the person or their partner, or it may be so severe that it prevents penetration during intercourse.

Peyronie's disease usually affects people who are 50 and older.

What are the stages of Peyronie's disease?

Peyronie's disease is usually divided into two stages:

  • The acute phase. The most common symptoms of this phase are painful erections and a change in the look of the penis. For example, it may curve or have an hourglass shape when erect. In some people the condition goes away on its own after several months. But in others it becomes chronic.
  • The chronic phase. During the chronic phase, the disease is stable. The pain is gone and there are no more changes to the curve in the penis.

©2011-2024 Healthwise, Incorporated

The content above contains general health information provided by Healthwise, Incorporated, and reviewed by its medical experts. This content should not replace the advice of your healthcare provider. Not all treatments or services described are offered as services by us. For recommended treatments, please consult your healthcare provider.