PD is a health issue in which a scar or plaque forms under the skin of the penis. Most of this plaque builds up leading to a curved erection, which can make intercourse difficult or painful for a man and his partner. PD is thought to impact about 6% of men between the ages of 40 and 70 years of age. This may be an underestimate as many men are too embarrassed to seek help or report the problem to their physician.
Doctors do not know what causes PD or how to prevent the disease before it starts. We do know that PD runs in the family. We also know that forceful sexual activity causes minor injuries to the penis that may initiate the process of scar formation. The disease is not related to a sexually transmitted disease or is a source of cancer.
The symptoms of PD include a curvature of the penis. A man may also be able to feel one or more hard lumps on the penis. Men may also experience painful erections and the man’s partner may also complain of vaginal pain or discomfort.
The treatment options for PD include watchful waiting, non-surgical treatments, and surgery. Watchful waiting is appropriate for a man with a minimal curvature that does not cause pain or impede sexual intimacy. Injection therapy includes the use of interferonverapamilcollagenase drugs directly into the plaque, which may dissolve the plaque. Surgical options include straightening surgery or plication. The plaque can also be removed the defect repaired with a graft of human tissue or synthetic disuse. Finally the plaque can be removed and a penile prosthesis inserted. (See my website, www.neilbaum.com, for more information on Peyronie’s Disease and the use of a penile prosthesis)
Bottom Line: Peyronie’s disease is a common urologic disorder. It is a source of potential pain and discomfort. Help is available and most men can achieve relief from the disabling curvature.