Two types of penile curvature
It is necessary to distinguish between a congenital curvature of the penis, which is present at birth, and an acquired penile curvature (Peyronie’s disease).
Peyronie’s disease affects approximately 10% of men, although in some studies, the numbers even go up to 25%. The degree of curvature can vary in each individual case, which is why there is a variety of different symptoms.
Symptoms of Peyronie’s disease
The typical symptomatic complex includes:
- Pain on the penis shaft
- Palpable lumps
- Occurrence of penile curvature
- Deformities in the form of indentations, in extreme cases “hourglass deformities”
- Gradual penis shortening
- Erectile dysfunction at a later stage
Peyronie’s disease affects about 10% of all men. In isolated studies even a frequency of up to 25% is cited.
Causes for Peyronie’s disease
Peyronie’s disease is caused by repetitive micro trauma (small injuries) within the tunica albuginea and the growth of excessive plaque during the healing process. The erectile tissue can no longer expand properly, causing the penis to curve abnormally. Furthermore, this can lead to deformities (e.g. indentations) along the penis shaft.
– Schematic diagram of plaque formation –
The course of Peyronie’s disease
Peyronie’s disease develops in two stages: the acute stage and the chronic stage. They are defined as follows:
The two stages of the Peyronie's disease
|Acute stage||Chronic stage|
|Penile curvature occurs gradually or suddenly.||Degree of penile curvature does not change|
|Indentation along the penis shaft appears||No sensations of pain|
|Approximately 40% of men experience pain in their penis, both in flaccid and erect state||No further deterioration of the optical appearance|
|Degree of penile curvature may vary||Starts 3-24 months after the onset of the disease|
In addition to the loss of functionality of the penis, Peyronie’s also affects the patient’s psychosexual health which can lead to depression and a lowered self-esteem.
To be unable to perform during sexual intercourse, is a very stressful experience to many men.
Treatment options for Peyronie’s disease
There are good treatment options available for Peyronie’s disease. However, it is necessary to consult a specialist to receive correct diagnosis and appropriate treatment.
Depending on the stage of Peyronie’s disease, there are different treatment options available: