Peyronie’s disease occurs when fibrous scar tissue develops inside the penis and causes it to bend or curve. Since penises vary in size and shape naturally, the curvature is not always a cause for concern, but with Peyronie’s disease, the penis starts to curve upward or to the side severely. The difference in position can cause painful erections and make sexual intercourse uncomfortable or, in severe cases, even impossible.
The exact cause of Peyronie’s disease is not known. However, since scar tissue is responsible for changing the shape of the penis, it’s believed trauma to the penis during intercourse, athletic activity, or an accident may be responsible. After an injury, the scar tissue can form and heal in an unorganized way, shifting the shape of the penis in the process.
A family history of Peyronie’s disease also increases your risk. Age may be a factor as well, as many cases of Peyronie’s disease occur in men age 55 or older. Connective tissue disorders can also lead to Peyronie’s disease since the body already shows signs of abnormal healing habits.
On occasion, Peyronie’s disease can remedy itself. If the new bend or curve of your penis is causing painful erections or the inability to have intercourse, a variety of treatment options are available.
Oral medication may be prescribed to weaken the scar tissue and return your penis to a natural shape. If that proves ineffective, second-line treatment may be an injection containing verapamil or collagenase, administered into the plaque of your penis to soften the scar tissue.
If you notice a change in the shape of your penis, even a slight bend or curve, make an appointment with Urology of Greater Atlanta for a consultation immediately. Peyronie’s disease can affect men gradually or all at once; it’s best to have it addressed as soon as possible.