Peyronie’s disease rarely develops overnight. In most cases, men diagnosed with Peyronie’s disease—which is most easily identified by a curvature or irregular shape of the penis— develop this condition over a period of time, as repeated injury and damage to the penis’s vascular structures causes a buildup of scar tissue, and a subsequent penile deformity.
Unfortunately, many men are unaware that this irregular shape is a condition that can be diagnosed and even treated. If you’re suffering from a possible case of Peyronie’s disease, you’re probably looking for answers as you make sense of your symptoms and explore your options for addressing this condition.
Penile Scar Tissue Symptoms
A curved or misshapen penis is the most common symptom of Peyronie’s disease, and will be present in just about all cases due to the way the penile scar tissue distorts the shape of this sexual organ. But other Peyronie’s disease symptoms may also be present in any individual case, and these symptoms could be useful in supporting a diagnose of Peyronie’s disease, as well as motivating patients to seek out medical help. Those symptoms may include:
- A shortened penis, especially when erect.
- The loss of girth in the penis, or a narrowing of the shaft at the point where scar tissue has developed.
- Lumps or hard spots on the penis, which likely indicate scar tissue.
- Pain when getting an erection and/or having sex.
- Difficulties producing or maintaining an erection.
- Difficulties having sex due to the shape of the penis.
In more severe cases of the condition, another symptom of Peyronie’s disease could be pain experienced by sexual partners when having sex—a product of a severely misshapen penis.
How Common is Peyronie’s Disease?
While Peyronie’s disease is a lesser-known sexual health condition suffered by men, the condition itself is actually far more common than many people realize. Actual rates of Peyronie’s disease are far less than the actual rate of occurrence: While around one percent of adult men have been diagnosed with the condition, for example, experts estimate that more than 10 percent of the U.S. male population has been affected by this scar tissue growth.
Due to this under-diagnosis, men are more likely to assume their curved penis is an anomaly, or a feature that doesn’t merit medical attention and treatment. For this reason, if you’ve noticed a curvature of your penis but have been reluctant to seek out medical care, it’s worth your time to meet with a specialist and find out if you actually suffer from Peyronie’s disease.
Complications of Penile Induration
While Peyronie’s disease doesn’t pose a serious health threat, it can lead to complications and sexual performance difficulties that severely affect your quality of life. More than 75 percent of all men diagnosed with Peyronie’s disease report that their condition is a source of stress and depression. Similar mental health afflictions are likely in men who have undiagnosed incidences of the disease.
If left untreated, Peyronie’s disease can discourage sexual activity due to the levels of pain men experience when they have an erection—and, in severe cases, even when their penis is flaccid. Peyronie’s disease can also affect the quality of your erection, and both the physical and mental health effects of the condition can adversely affect your relationship with sexual partners, increasing stress and reducing sexual satisfaction on both sides.
In some cases, the curvature of the penis may also cause pain for partners, increasing the physical difficulties of this condition.
Can Fibrous Scar Tissue Be Treated?
Although many people suffering from Peyronie’s disease believe that their condition is permanent, the reality is that many men are able to receive treatments that eliminate scar tissue and improve the shape, length and performance of their penis.
Research studies have found that low-intensity shockwave therapy treatments may be effective at breaking up scar tissue, stimulating the regeneration of vascular tissue in the penis, and restoring some or all of the functionality of the penis, including the ability to produce and sustain an erection.
Individuals diagnosed with Peyronie’s disease, or who have the symptoms of this condition, should keep in mind that these treatments are likely more effective the more recently this condition has developed. If you choose to wait before seeking out treatment, you could reduce the likelihood for a positive outcome—which is why anyone experiencing symptoms is encouraged to seek out treatment as soon as possible.
With more than 90 percent of patients reporting high satisfaction and improved sexual performance from low-intensity shockwave treatments, there’s no reason to suffer from Peyronie’s disease in silence. If your symptoms suggest you have been affected by this disease, schedule a consultation today to get started on the path to treatment and possible recovery.