Peyronie’s Disease (PD) is a condition of the penis resulting from fibrous scar tissue. The scar tissue causes a bend or curvature in the penis, often resulting in pain or discomfort with erections. Depending on the severity of the “curve”, PD may resolve on its own, however more frequently is requires medical intervention.
Leaving Peyronie’s Disease untreated can lead to a worsening of symptoms, such as an increased degree of curvature, shortening of the penis, inability to have pleasurable intercourse, and/or erectile dysfunction. Whether medical intervention occurs during the “acute phase” (within 18 months of injury) or during the “chronic phase” (12- 18 months after injury), there are treatment options that can make a significant difference in this concerning issue.
What Causes Peyronie’s Disease?
Peyronie’s Disease (PD) often occurs after repeated injury to the penis shaft either during intercourse, athletic activity or as a result of an accident. However, in some cases, no specific incident can be recalled.
Due to the injury, scar tissue, also called plaque, forms just underneath the skin of the penis. This fibrous scar tissue reduces the elasticity of the penis, which may affect the ability of achieving a full erection.
Prevalence of Peyronie’s Disease
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), approximately 1 in 100 men in the US over the age of 18 have been diagnosed with Peyronie’s Disease (PD). However, based on studies of men presenting with the signs and symptoms of PD, researchers estimate the actual number of men who have PD is more than 1 in 10. PD is less common in men in their 20’s and 30’s, increasing in frequency as men age.
Symptoms of Peyronie’s Disease, Not Only Physical but Psychological
The most common sign of Peyronie’s Disease is a curve in the penis during erection. The curve can be upward, downward, to the left or to the right. A slight curve that has been present since early teens, or that is not causing pain or difficulty with intercourse is typically not a cause for concern. Other symptoms may be:
- Hard bumps on one or more sides of the penis
- Pain during sexual intercourse or during an erection
- A curve in the penis with or without an erection
- Changes in the shape of the penis, such as narrowing or shortening
The pain and misshape of the penis may cause men to have emotional distress, in addition to the physical symptoms of Peyronie’s Disease (PD) which can contribute to erectile dysfunction.
Researchers have found that 80% of men diagnosed with PD report symptoms of depression, shame, distress and relationship discord. The loss of sexual confidence may also consequently lead to a decreased interest in sex.
Taking Action Against Peyronie’s Disease!
Rather than waiting it out to see if Peyronie’s Disease will heal without intervention, it’s best to seek medical advice so, if necessary, treatment can begin immediately. Some doctors recommend medication, surgery or injections to soften the scar tissue, hopefully leading to stronger erections.
Another option growing in popularity, is a non-invasive and advanced treatment called Shockwave Therapy by GAINSWave. This treatment incorporates high frequency, low intensity shockwaves to break down the scar tissue in the penis without the need for injections or surgery.
Find out more information on how Cleveland Health Group is using GAINSWave therapy to address Peyronie’s Disease. Click here.