Peyronie's Disease

If you’re reading this to answer the question, “Do I have Peyronie’s disease?” We wrote this article for you.

First, we’ll explain what Peyronie’s disease is, then we’ll discuss Peyronie’s disease symptoms and Peyronie’s disease causes, how it’s diagnosed, and treatment options.

What is Peyronie’s Disease?

Peyronie’s disease is a condition causing a man’s penis to curve. Because the shape and size of a penis can vary from man to man, the curvature caused by Peyronie’s disease may appear slight or more significant.

Severe cases of Peyronie’s disease are very painful and may make sex impossible.

What Causes Peyronie’s Disease?

The curvature due to Peyronie’s disease is caused by scar tissue buildup in the penis. This scar tissue is called plaque, but it’s not like plaque on your teeth or the plaque that can clog blood vessels. 

Peyronie's Disease Symptomps

The Mayo Clinic is an excellent resource to learn about Peyronie’s disease symptoms. Here’s what to look for:

  • Scar tissue (Plaque)

You can feel the plaque building under the skin of the penis like a hard band or flat lumps.

  • A significant bend to the penis

Peyronie’s disease causes the penis to curve either upward, downward, or to one side.

  • A problem maintaining erections

Peyronie’s disease might cause ED (erectile dysfunction). However, more often, men already have ED before the onset of any Peyronie’s disease symptoms.

  • A shortened penis

Peyronie’s disease may cause the penis to get shorter.

  • Varying amount of pain

Peyronie’s disease may cause pain in an erect or flaccid penis. 

  • Other penile deformities

Peyronie’s disease symptoms may include a penis that narrows when erect. In addition, there may be indentations to the penis, or the penis may appear to be hourglass-shaped due to a tight band of plaque around the shaft.

Peyronie’s Disease Causes

Other health conditions or lifestyle choices may cause Peyronie’s disease. While Peyronie’s disease happens more often to older men, the following risk factors can increase chances of developing the condition:

  • Heart problems and Cardiovascular issues

High blood pressure and high cholesterol can contribute to Peyronie’s disease.

  • Diabetes

Studies show that diabetes is a risk factor.

  • Lifestyle risks

Heavy smoking and drinking are risk factors. There’s also a concern with unprotected sex leading to an STD (sexually transmitted disease) causing inflammation.

  • Injuries during sex

Specifically, rough sexual activities may cause Peyronie’s disease, especially if the penis gets bent or stretched. Another risk factor is sexual penetration before the penis is fully erect.

  • Erectile dysfunction

The likelihood of Peyronie’s disease symptoms seems to increase in men who already experience ED.

Peyronie’s Disease Diagnosis:

It’s always best to seek a medical diagnosis if you’re concerned that you have Peyronie’s disease.

This Self-Check questionnaire will assist you in the process:

  1. Are erections painful for you?
  2. Do you have problems getting a firm erection now?
  3. Does your penis curve when erect?
  4. If so, has the curve gotten more apparent over time?
  5. Do you think your erect penis is shorter than before?
  6. Does your erect penis appear to be indented or have an hourglass shape?
  7. Do you feel any new bumps or nodules in your penis?
  8. Is sexual penetration hard now because your penis buckles or bends?

You may not experience every symptom on this questionnaire. Still, if you have one or more of these Peyronie’s disease symptoms, it’s a good idea to talk to your primary care provider or urologist.

Medical Tests for Peyronie’s Disease

Your healthcare provider or urologist will order the following kinds of tests to determine if you have Peyronie’s disease:

Palpation

This is generally the first test you will undergo, where the specialist palpitates the flaccid penis. Next, the specialist will locate any indentations, bumps, or hard tissue on the penis as a whole.

Peyronie’s disease Questionnaire (PDQ)

Your specialist also uses a medical questionnaire called the Peyronie’s disease Questionnaire (PDQ), a 15-item list with psychological and physical questions you will answer.

A PDQ can help your specialist learn what caused your Peyronie’s disease and how serious it is. It will also help your specialist know what treatment to prescribe and how well it will improve your condition.

Measurement of Curvature

This test requires the penis to be erect, and the specialist may inject your penis with medication to produce an erection. Next, the specialist measures the curve in your erection with a device called a goniometer. The measurement can also be done manually.

Blood Tests

Low testosterone levels in the blood may cause some men not to have firm erections. This increases Peyronie’s disease risk, so a blood test may be ordered to determine your testosterone levels.

Imaging

A high-resolution ultrasound may be ordered to identify plaque (scar tissue) in the penis that is a Peyronie’s disease symptom.

Imaging tests (Xrays, CT, MRI) are rarely ordered to investigate or confirm a diagnosis of Peyronie’s.  An ultrasound is the most commonly ordered imaging modality to examine the soft tissue and identify any scar or plaque formation.

Peyronie’s Disease Treatment Options

The good news is, effective treatments exist for Peyronie’s disease. Here are some treatments currently offered.

Non-Surgical Treatment

Depending on your symptoms and how long you’ve been experiencing Peyronie’s disease, these non-surgical treatments can be very effective:

  • Acoustic Shockwave Therapy

Generally called Shockwave Therapy, this therapy uses non-invasive sound waves to reduce the plaque that causes Peyronie’s disease.

  • Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy (PRP)

PRP uses the healing properties in your blood and places them directly into the plaque scar tissue to accelerate healing.

Surgical Treatments

Surgical options are available to treat Peyronie’s disease, depending on the seriousness of your condition and what your specialist believes is the most effective treatment. Surgical options include:

  • Suturing
  • Incision/Excision and grafting
  • Penile prosthesis

When Should You See a Doctor?

Peyronie’s disease symptoms can worsen with time, so please see our specialists at Oakwood Health Network as soon as possible when you notice signs or symptoms. Early treatment is the most effective way to improve Peyronie’s disease and prevent it from getting worse.

You can also schedule a free consultation online right now!

 

Boskey, E., 2021. How Peyronie’s Disease Is Diagnosed. [online] Verywell Health. Available at: <https://www.verywellhealth.com/peyronies-disease-diagnosis-4688592> [Accessed 10 October 2021].

Urologyhealth.org. 2020. Peyronie’s Disease: Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment – Urology Care Foundation. [online] Available at: <https://www.urologyhealth.org/urology-a-z/p/peyronies-disease> [Accessed 12 October 2021].

Pruthi, S., 2021. Peyronie’s disease – Symptoms and causes. [online] Mayo Clinic. Available at: <https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/peyronies-disease/symptoms-causes/syc-20353468> [Accessed 8 October 2021].

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