If you have noticed a bend or curve in your penis that has not always been present you may be suffering from Peyronie’s disease.
Common estimates on the prevalence of the condition range between 1% and 5% of men above the age of 50. Like with many other conditions relating to male genitals the true rate is unknown as many men are too embarrassed to seek help.
Peyronie’s is caused by fibrous lumps, technically known as plaques, that form internally on one side of the penis. Upon erection, this plaque stops the penis from extending to its full length on that side and therefore pulls the penis to that side. While the common result is a bend, the plaque can also cause other deformities such as bulging or depressions.
While medical experts debate the cause, anecdotal evidence suggests that it is most often caused by some sort of injury, with online Peyronie’s disease forums forums filled with stories of men developing the condition a few weeks after hearing an audible popping sound during a rough sexual experience. The theory is that the injury causes an auto-immune response from the body which creates the plaque at the site of the injury.
The Melbourne Bladder Clinic suggests that injecting repeatedly into the same site for erectile dysfunction treatment may also increase the risk in developing Peyronie’s.
While those with mild symptoms may be able to function normally, most with Peyronie’s will experience some adverse such as discomfort, pain and sexual dysfunction. Given that some research suggests that only 13% of men with the condition experienced a full recovery with no intervention, many men will put their embarrassment aside and seek some form of treatment.
Treatment options can be classified into three categories, being surgical, medicines (topical and oral) and stretching.
Like for most surgery on our genitals, we at Aussie Penis believe that surgery should be the treatment of last resort. Among other side effects, the most alarming side effect from one of the surgical options called the the Nesbit’s procedure is shortening of the penis. And although we know we shouldn’t really care about penis size, I’m sure there are few of us who would want to make our penis shorter. Unless you are like Keith on this episode of Embarrassing Bodies, who opted for the penis-shortening Nesbit’s surgical procedure to treat his Peyronie’s, but had more than enough length to begin with.
Other surgical options are explored in this information sheet by Queensland urologist Dr Peter Campbell.
Topical and Oral Medicines
These are generally thought to be the least effective treatment. But given that they are the least invasive treatment and there is some evidence that they can at least improve, if not cure, the condition, some sufferers opt for this treatment. See this page for information on the effectiveness of topical and oral medicines.
Stretching the penis over as period of time (usually at least months) has been shown to increase the length of the penis. Traction devices such as this one have been used by men for many years to successfully increase the length of their penis. Recently, the medical community has adopted this for the treatment of Peyronie’s disease.
The following is from Better Health Victoria, which was written in consultation with the Urological Society of Australia and New Zealand:
Penile traction device – this has proved useful, along with medical therapy, to lengthen the penis and reduce the curve in the erect state. Studies have also shown that use of a penile traction device may increase penile width, suggesting a benefit in the management of Peyronie’s disease. It has also been used pre- and post-surgery to prevent penile shortening.
Men’s Health Melbourne have even started offering traction devices as part of their treatment services for Peyronie’s disease.
For those looking to buy a device online, water based pumps are also an option with Penomet being a popular option for men with a curvature of 20% or less.
While some doctors and medical associations are open to recommending traction devices for the treatment of Peyronie’s disease, others are a little more hesitant, suggesting that most men do not have the dedication or patience to wear a device every day over the course of months, even though thousands of men have been able to do this with similar devices for the purposes of penis growth and foreskin restoration.
I know that if I am ever unlucky enough to ever suffer from the condition I would certainly be willing to try the traction device treatment before resorting to the more invasive surgical options.
And I won’t be too concerned I manage to grow some extra length as a side-effect.
Image courtesy of nuttakit at FreeDigitalPhotos.net