anonymous on September 9, 2011

How do I know if I have Peyronie’s disease?

I’ve noticed some changes in my penis lately...for one, I’ve noticed that my penis is bent and it hurts to have sex. I’ve been reading about Peyronie’s disease. What is it and how do I know if I have it? Will I ever be able to enjoy sex again?

answered by David Sobel, MD, JD on September 9, 2011

Thanks for asking about Peyronie’s disease…all men should know about it and how to recognize it.

Peyronie’s disease causes scar tissue (or “plaque”) to form in the penis, which can cause the penis to bend when erect. Perhaps you’ll notice a thickened area somewhere on the penis…it’s not any sort of tumor or cancer, but a thickness or lump on top of the shaft usually causes it to bend up. If the lump is on the bottom of the shaft, the penis will usually bend down.

This can cause pain when you become erect, and/or during an orgasm. Peyronie’s can also cause trouble getting or keeping an erection.

Some men notice signs of Peyronie’s over time…or it may seem to show up overnight. For example, Peyronie’s can occur as the result of an event during sex, if the penis gets bent during penetration. But the jury is still out on what, exactly, causes Peyronie’s… about half of the men who have it remember some sort of trauma to their penis; but the other half don’t remember anything in particular happening.

Peyronie’s can run the gamut from mild to severe. I encourage you to see your doctor for a proper examination and diagnosis.

It may be comforting to know that the number one goal of Peyronie’s treatment is to return to sexual function. The curve or bend in your penis may or may not need to be treated, and any pain or issues with sexual function or erectile dysfunction can be addressed with medications or injections. And in more severe cases, surgery may be an option.

Thank you again for your question, and I hope that your discomfort is soon resolved.

Related info:

David Sobel, MD, JD

Dr. Sobel is a Colorado-based urologist and Director of the Denver Center for Men’s Health. His areas of expertise include men's sexual health and all areas of urology, including urologic oncology, treatment of benign prostatic hypertrophy, stone disease and incontinence. Dr. Sobel was educated at the University of Michigan Law School and the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine, and completed his residency at the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, IL.

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