Peyronie’s Disease Examined
Peyronies Disease is a little understood medical condition that causes the penis to curve upwards – a symptom that can make sexual intercourse both difficult and painful. This article examines what peyronies disease is, what causes this condition and what can be done reduce and cure the symptoms of a bent penis.
Peyronie’s disease is a still little-understood disorder of the penis, where upon erection the penis exhibits an abnormally pronounced upwards bend. This can cause pain and discomfort, and can make sexual intercourse difficult.
It is estimated that between 1-4% of men are affected by Peyronie’s disease (also known as ‘Induratio penis plastica’), but due to the fact that men are reluctant to seek medical attention due to embarrassment, it is hard to get an accurate figure.
The causes behind this uncomfortable and debilitating disease are scarcely understood, but treatment options are thankfully becoming available as research continues.
Do I have Peyronie’s Disease?
This question comes up for the majority of men who have a curved penis – in fact a large percentage of men. Most men are not born with a perfectly straight penis, so a slight bend upwards is nothing to worry about. This is known as a congenital curvature. Because of this, Peyronie’s disease is currently quite difficult to diagnose even for seasoned doctors, and a general practitioner should refer you to an urologist for diagnosis.
There are some common indications that you may have Peyronie’s Disease, although these are far from exhaustive and you should of course seek the attention of an urologist for help. Pain during erections or hardened scar tissues round the penis can indicate Peyronie’s Disease. The scar tissue (also known as plaque) may not manifest itself in curvature, but rather as strange indentations on the penis. If you notice any change in curvature or texture of the penis, you should certainly seek medical help.
What are the Causes of Peyronie’s Disease?
The reasons behind Peyronie’s Disease are currently obscure, and it can be said that medical science is still unclear as to the causes. Similar conditions of the hands are frequently found in sufferers of Peyronie’s Disease, and almost 1 in 3 men who suffer from Peyronie’s Disease can be affected by conditions such as Dupuytren’s Contracture. Studies have also shown that middle-aged Caucasian men are more likely to suffer from Peyronie’s Disease. Both of these facts have led some researchers to believe Peyronie’s Disease has a genetic element.
However, more research has shown that the legions and hardening of the penis, which ultimately causes curvature, can be traced to traumatic injury. A large number of Peyronie’s Disease sufferers can trace their disease to an event that caused damage to their penis; most commonly through sexual intercourse. It is conjectured that most forms of Peyronie’s Disease are in fact initially caused by this trauma, even if the sufferer was unaware of the damage when it was initially caused.
A third, but as yet unproved cause, is Peyronie’s Disease as a side-effect of taking certain anti-hypertensive drugs. Beta blockers have become increasingly used to treat depression and panic attacks in the past 10 years, and calcium channel blockers have been suggested as a possible aggravator of Peyronie’s Disease. Although this is unproven, it is a serious enough concern that all calcium channel blockers must specify Peyronie’s Disease as a potential side effect of administration.
What are the Peyronie’s Disease Treatment Options?
There are many treatment options open to Peyronie’s Disease sufferers, and at time of writing these all have mixed results. Oral treatments with Vitamin E have been studies for decades, but more recent studies are showing this to be ineffective. There are now newer medical agents being tested which target the inflammation directly, but we are still awaiting any significant clinical trials.
Surgery should be considered a last option – it is a complicated procedure and in virtually all cases results in a shortening of the penis. Physical therapy through the use of specific manual stretching devices is one area in which clinical trials are showing promise, and is arguably where a Peyronie’s Disease sufferer should first look to alleviate his condition. Both the Jes Extender and MaleEdge penis enlargement device have been medically approved as a cure for peyronie’s disease.
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