What is Peyronie's disease?
A condition in which the penis becomes curved during an erection.
What are the main symptoms?
What's the risk?
Peyronie's Disease is thought to affect 1 to 9% of men. Men aged 50-60 are most at risk, although the disease occurs in younger and older men or in men with diabetes.
N.B. The lumps in Peyronie's disease are benign and not linked to cancer of the penis. Nor is it caused by sexually transmitted infections, such as gonorrhoea.
It is the result of damage to the penis, due to internal bleeding, due to stretching of penile blood vessels. There is some evidence that the elasticity of the penile tissues is reduced in older men and that minor damage may occur (without any obvious outward signs) during sexual intercourse. Some cases may be caused simply by turning over in bed while asleep with a nocturnal erection.
In mild cases the plaque does not advance beyond an initial inflammatory stage, but in severe cases tough fibrous tissue develops and calcium deposits may even build up.
How can I prevent it?
You can't, except perhaps by avoiding sexual acts, which might damage or over-stretch the penis.
Should I see a doctor?
If you notice lumps in your penis, you should go straight to your doctor.
You will need to have a physical examination and an ultrasound.
Surgery is the only treatment known to be effective. However, if intercourse is possible without pain, Peyronie's disease may be managed without surgery. Drugs have been used to reduce the plaque in the initial stages along with injections to the plaque. Recently shock wave therapy has been used.
The surgery is dependent on the patient plaque length and the area affected.