This distressing condition causes the penis to arc or bend during an erection. It generally affects men over 40. According to NHS Choices between 3-9% of men have the condition.
- Curved penis when erect
- Hard lump (plaque) in the shaft of the penis
- Pain in the penis when erect
- Misshapen penis
- Loss of length or girth
- Can cause impotence
What causes Peyronie’s Disease?
The cause of Peyronie’s Disease is unknown. Some believe it occurs if the penis is injured while erect (usually during sexual activity). The disease may also be hereditary.
How is the condition treated?
If there is no pain and the condition does not affect sexual function, it can generally be left alone and may improve by itself.
Sometimes steroid injections into the affected area are offered but there is limited evidence as to the effectiveness of this treatment.
Another treatment is called extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT). This involves applying high-pressure, low-frequency sound waves to the affected tissue using an ultrasound scanner. One study suggests 50% of patients receiving ESWT experience a decrease in curvature but the overall effectiveness of this method is not considered adequate according to the *National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence.
Surgery is another option to treat severe cases. This involves cutting away the plaque, attaching a skin patch or vein to straighten the penis, or removing the area opposite the plaque to cancel out the bend, or implanting a device to straighten the penis.