Peyronie’s Disease

Man with Peyronie's Disease

Peyronie’s Disease (PD), also known as penile induration or penis curvature, is a condition affecting the male penis.

PD has been found to affect approximately 13% of males.  That means that approximately 1 in 10 men are affected by penis curvature.

This condition can have adverse sexual and psychological effects on both the male affected by the condition as well as the man’s partners.

Peyronie’s Disease is a condition in which fibrotic plaques (scar tissue) form on the penis, just under the skin, leading to abnormalities of the penis including curvature.

These plaques develop and grow in the tunica albuginea.  The tunica albiginea is a sheath of dense, elastic tissue surrounding the penis’s erectile tissues called corpus cavernosa.

Once these fibrotic scar tissues are large enough they begin to pull on the surrounding tissues.  This leads to the penis having a curvature or bend, particularly during an erection.

Penis with Peyronie's Disease

These curvatures can become so significant that sexual intercourse becomes impossible.

Even achieving an erection can become extremely painful.

There are one of two causes of the developing scar tissues in the penis. One cause is injury to the penis and the other cause is an autoimmune disorder.

The likelihood of developing PD increases with age.

There are two phases to Peyronie’s disease.  The first phase is the acute phase and the second phase is the chronic phase.

The acute phase is when the scar tissue/plaque starts to develop.  This phase can take up to 18 months.  During this stage there may be pain and inflammation.  Pain can occur even without an erection.  The curvature of the penis will begin to be noticeable.

The chronic phase is the phase where the plaque is fully developed and stabilized.  This usually occurs 12 to 18 months after the first sign of symptoms.  During this stage the pain may lessen and the degree of curvature should maintain and not get any worse.  Erectile dysfunction can develop or get worse.

Risk factors for developing Peyronie’s disease include:

  • sexual or nonsexual activities that create micro-injuries to the penile tissues
  • autoimmune disorders (systemic lupus erythematosus, Sjogren’s syndrome, Behcet’s disease)
  • connective tissue disorders (Dupuytren’s disease, scleroderma, plantar fasciitis)
  • family history of PD
  • older age
  • diabetes
  • erectile dysfunction
  • surgical treatment of prostate cancer

You may also wish to learn more about Erectile Dysfunction.