What is Peyronies? The Basic Facts about a Curved Penis

  • Men with Peyronies disease generally seek medical attention for pain associated with a curved penis during erection, which results from inflammation and scarring in a particular part of the male anatomy known as the tunica albuginea. Learn about other factors of this bent penile injury.
  • Francois de la Peyronie, surgeon to Louis XIV of France, first described treatment for this disorder in 1743.
  • This condition is most commonly acquired at about age 55. A man can be born with a curved penis, though this is not Peyronies disease.
  • Severity varies – only a minority of the men afflicted with this problem are unable to engage sexually. Through an effect on the erection mechanism it can reduce rigidity (hardness), but the bent erections rarely cause impotence.
  • It is somewhat uncommon, affecting somewhere between five and seven percent of men over fifty, and less commonly in younger men.
  • In addition to producing a curved penis, Peyronies disease may change the shape of the erection in other ways: indentation, diameter reduction, or loss of length.
  • Peyronies disease has a strong psychological impact – especially in single men who are not in a well-established relationship.
  • Some cases are mild, healing without treatment within a year of onset. Most cases produce at least some degree of persistent curvature.
  • A noticeable lump, or plaque within the curved penis is commonly detected. Contrary to prevalent anxieties, it is noncancerous, and unrelated to cholesterol – containing arterial plaque.
  • Peyronies disease can run in families, though most cases do not appear to be hereditary
  • Peyronies is not associated with serious internal disorders. 10 % of men develop scarring of either the hands (Dupuytren’s contractures) or of the feet.
  • The goal of therapy is to maintain sexual function. In some cases, education about and reassurance is all that is required. Rarely, when long-term deformity prevents intercourse, surgery is recommended. With FDA approval of collagenase therapy, many patients will have the option of curvature and functional improvement from a non-surgical office procedure.