Painful erection? What to know about Peyronie’s disease
Although it’s probably not talked about, about 5% of men have a condition called Peyronie’s disease (or PD), which can cause painful erections. Urologist Blake Wynia, MD, said men should not suffer in silence because effective treatments are available.
What is Peyronie’s Disease (or PD)?
PD is an acquired disorder of the penis that results in curvature, painful erections, and in some cases, difficulty achieving or maintaining an erection. Some men may develop PD after a traumatic event such as a penile fracture. However, for the vast majority of men there is no definitive cause. It likely developed from the cumulative effects of microscopic trauma from sexual activity. “Over time, this unrecognized trauma can lead to the development of scar tissue called a “plaque” within the inner lining of the penis. When this plaque develops, it limits the ability of that part of the penis to expand during an erection, leading to penile curvature,” said Dr. Wynia.
How does PD effect a man?
This curvature is the hallmark of PD and can have several effects, including:
- Difficult and uncomfortable sexual activity for both partners.
- Co-existing erectile dysfunction (problems getting or keeping an erection).
- Increased risk of depression, low self-esteem and relationship issues.
“The true overall negative impact of PD is likely underestimated,” said Dr. Wynia.
What treatment options are available?
Dr. Wynia said there are a number of effective treatments available that can lead to significant improvement.
- Medicine. Collagenase clostridium histolyticum (CCH) is an injection administered in a doctor’s office. This treatment has minimal side effects and most men see improvement.
- Surgery. There are several low-risk, outpatient, minimally invasive procedures that produce high satisfaction rates.
For some men, the curvature is minor and not particularly bothersome, so treatment may not be necessary.
“Treatment of PD should be tailored to an individual man’s needs. There is no one treatment that fits all,” said Dr. Wynia. Peyronie’s disease should also be treated by a urologic specialist with specific training in this sensitive area of medicine.
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