What is Peyronies’s Disease?
Curves in penises are not unusual, they can occur with age, and is seldom innate.
Early researchers have linked Peyronie’s disease to impotence, which is now referred to as erectile dysfunction, which you can read more about here. Erectile dysfunction occurs when a man is incapable of achieving or keeping his penis hard for sexual intercourse. However, having Peyronie’s disease does not necessarily mean that it is not possible to achieve an erection or have sexual intercourse, though people suffering from Peyronies may also suffer from erectile dysfunction.
If you suspect that you are suffering from Peyronie´s disease, you should consult your family doctor, if necessary he or she will refer you to an urologist. An urologist is a doctor specializing in urinary and sexual diseases.
What are the Causes of Peyronie’s Disease?
The causes of Peyronie’s disease are somewhat of a puzzle to medical researchers. However, many believe that possible causes include:
- Trauma – The trauma may be a repeated event such as riding a horse or a bicycle on a regular basis or an acute injury such as getting hit by a hockey stick in the penis or accidentally bending the penis during sexual intercourse. Whether the trauma recurs over time, the injury may lead to localized bleeding and inflammation inside the layers of the Tunica Albuginea. When the inside of a penis swells, blood is blocked from flowing through the layers of the tissues.
When blood does not circulate as normal, it may result in clot formation thus trapping the immune system cells. Therefore, as the healing of the injury continues the immune system cells releases substances which leads to excess scar tissue formation. This scar tissue accumulates in the penis forming plaque. As a result, the plaque mitigates flexibility of the penis and elasticity of tissues during erection leading to curving or bending.
- Autoimmune Disease – Some health specialists tend to believe that Peyronie’s disease is a part of an autoimmune disease, see study here. Usually, the immune system is the way in which the body protects itself by finding and destroying viruses, bacteria and any other possibly harmful elements. Patients suffering from autoimmune diseases are prone to Peyronie’s disease when the body’s immune system fights the cells inside the penis. This may result in swelling of the penis leading to scarring.
Studies have examined other Peyronie’s disease causes. However, medical experts are unclear about how these factors contribute to the condition:
- Gout, which affects connective tissue healing.
- Genetic predisposition associated with a family history of Dupuytren contracture.
- Age- older people are more likely to scar as they heal.
- Systemic vascular disease such as hypertension, high cholesterol, and
- Use of Propranolol
- History of nongonococcal urethritis
- Alcohol consumption and smoking
- Evidence of systemic arterial impairment
Sign and symptoms of Peyronie’s disease?
- Pain when having sexual intercourse or an erection
- Narrowing or shortening of the penis
- Hard lumps on either one or more sides of the penis
- Curving or bending of the penis with or without an erection
- Erectile Dysfunction
The signs and symptoms of this condition vary from mild to severe. These symptoms may start to appear slowly or quickly. In other instances, pain may reduce over time, but the curving of the penis may remain. In minor cases, the symptoms can diminish without leading to a permanent curve.
Stages of Peyronie’s Disease
Peyronie’s disease is divided into two phases:
- Acute Phase – In the acute phase, plaques develop inside the penis, bending of the penis worsens, and one might experience pain when having an erection. The acute phase lasts for 6-18 months.
- Chronic Phase – During the chronic phase the building up of plaque stops, and the penis takes a chronic abnormal shape. If there were any pain associated with the disease during the acute phase it will most likely decrease during the chronic phase. In some cases the pain will disappear completely.
How is Peyronie’s Disease Diagnosed?
Peyronie’s disease is diagnosed based on:
Family and Medical History
The first things done by an urologist to help determine if you are suffering from Peyronie’s disease is to take a family and medical history. The specialist will ask you to provide the history that may include some of the following questions:
- Are you experiencing any problems having sexual intercourse?
- Are you able to have an erection?
- At what time did the symptoms start appearing?
- What is you family medical history?
- Are you using any medications?
- Are you suffering from other medical conditions?
Imaging tests help in identifying the area where plaque has built up in the penis. A urologist may perform;
- An ultrasound of the penis
Ultrasound uses a device known a transducer, the device bounces off safe and painless sound waves to make an image of the organ.
- X-ray of the penis
An x-ray is an image generated by using small amounts of radiation, this image is then recorded on computer or film. You may be asked to lie or stand during the x-ray. You might also be asked to shift postures for additional images.
During a physical exam, the specialist will examine your body including the penis. Usually, the urologist feels the plaque inside the penis either with or without an erection. In other cases, the doctor might need to inspect the penis during an erection. He will give you an injectable medication to cause an erection.
How is Peyronie’s Disease Treated?
The urologist might recommend surgery if the deformity of the penis is extremely severe or prevents you from having sex. Usually, surgery is not recommended until the patient has had the disease for at least a year and the curvature of the penis stops increasing and stabilizes. Common surgical methods include:
- Suturing (plicating) the Unaffected Side – There are various suturing or plication techniques that can be used to treat curvature. An example of this type of treatment is Nesbit plication, in which the longer side of the penis with no scar tissue is plicated. As a result, the penis is straightened, though this procedure may cause penile shortening and erectile dysfunction.
- Excision or Incision and Grafting – Under this type of treatment, one or several cuts are made into the scar tissue, stretching out the penile sheath thus straightening the penis. The surgeon may also cut off some of the scar tissues. Graft (tissue) is mostly stitched in place to hide the holes made in the tunica albuginea. The graft may be tissues from an animal, human, the patient’s body, or a synthetic material. This treatment is mostly used in cases of severely deformed or curved penis such as indentations. This procedure is linked to higher risks of worsening erectile function compared to the plication procedure.
- Penile Implants – Semi-rigid implants are used to take the place of the spongy tissues, which fills with blood during erections. This will allow the patient to bend the penis upwards during sexual intercourse. The most common implants are pump and semi-rigid plants.
- Injections – The doctor may also choose to use an injection to try and reduce the pain and swelling associated with Peyronie’s disease. The doctor may inject drugs such as collagenase, interferon, and verapamil. Collagenase targets and breaks down the buildup collagen which causes penile curvature. Interferon is a type of protein which disrupts and breaks down the production of fibrous tissue. You may recognize Verapamil as the drug that’s used in the treatment of high blood pressure. It may also be used to disrupt production of collagen, which is a protein that forms unwanted scar tissues.
- Penis Stretcher – Initially, the only way to treat Peyronie’s disease was through surgical methods. These methods came with a lot of side effects, including shortening the penis up to 4 cm. Also, surgical methods are associated with a very minimal success rate. Today, one of the most effective non-invasive methods of treating Peyronie’s disease is by using a penis stretcher. To achieve the best result the penis extender should be used during the Acute Phase, as this will provide the best results.
One of the best penis extenders to use for treating Peyronie’s disease is SizeGenetics.
SizeGenetics is among the most recognized penis extenders in the market. It has been on the market for two decades and has received all the mandatory safety approvals, leaving thousands of customers happy. The product has been clinically tested and endorsed by some of the top doctors.
The patient can wear SizeGenetics under the garments the entire day without experiencing any difficulties with mobility. It is discreetly concealed when you are standing, sitting or walking, thus you can use it effectively throughout the day without the fear that someone may notice.
- Vitamin and Enzymes – Vitamins and enzymes have been one of the most effective methods to treat Peyronie’s disease since 1940’s. The most used vitamin to treat the disease is vitamin E. It works by helping the skin to heal and reduce plaque. Enzymes are also effective in speeding up the healing process. The most popular product and the most recommended that incorporates the use of enzymes is Neprinol. The key ingredients in this product include enzymes such as nattokinase, serrapeptase, and bromelain. These ingredients among others help in reducing fibrous material that causes Peyronie’s disease.
Peyronie’s disease is very frustrating and may result in some psychological impacts such as stress or depression. However, if you are suffering from the disease, there are ways to improve your situation. Among the many treatments available, I highly recommend SizeGenetics (Read my review of SizeGenetics here) and Neprinol (Read my review of Neprinol here). These non-invasive solutions can help improve your situation, even though it is important to note that no treatment, surgical or non-surgical, will fully restore your penis to its original shape.
After finishing a master degree in Urology at the European University in St. Petersburg, Austin cofounded staustinreview.com in 2015. The purpose of the website is to help men with a wide variety of sexual problems with a language that everybody understand.
Austin is a dedicated writer and loves to get his hands dirty with product reviews and the latest urology news.
Outside of work his an outdoors person who loves fishing and running, you can follow Austin on Twitter or LinkedIn if you can keep up with him!