Why do men seek treatment?

The reason why men seek treatment for this understandably rather embarrassing condition are:

  • pain associated with erections

  • penile deformity (curvature, buckling, wasting, shortening of penile shaft during erections)

  • progressively worsening erectile function

What happens in Peyronie's disease?

PD is characterised by a curvature in the penile shaft that is often preceded by painful erections and accompanied by an area of scar tissue in the membrane surrounding the erectile bodies of the penile shaft. The bent in the erect penis is caused by the fact that fibrotic tissue does not stretch as well as normal tissue. Wasting and shortening of the penile shaft are common. 

Peyronie's disease

What is Peyronie's disease?

Peyronie's disease (PD) is a build up of fibrous plaque or scar tissue within the elastic covering of the erectile tissue inside the penis. The exact cause of the disease remains unknown but several theories have been proposed: many men recall a history of seemingly insignificant penile trauma during an episode of vigorous sexual activity. Repeated minor trauma (e.g. attempts at sexual intercourse with weak or incomplete erections) can lead to scar formation. There also appears to be a genetic base: family history is common but not typical and there is an association with other connective tissue disorders, specifically Dupuytren's contracture affecting the palms of the hand. 

The clinical course of PD is variable. In up to 50% of cases the disease process is self-limited and does not worsen. The disease takes about 12 months to stabilise and it is during tho period that it may even resolve without treatment. 

The management of the condition depends on disease state, severity of the penile defect and erectile function.