Exactly What is Peyronies Disease?
Simply put, a disorder in which a certain scar tissue, often labeled as plaque, forms inside the penis. The plaque then builds up inside the tissues of a thick, elastic membrane called the tunica albuginea, generally explicitly in one particular area of the penis. The most common area for the plaque is on the top or bottom of the penis, though it may often occur on one of the sides as well. As the plaque builds up, the penis will start to bear a sort of curve or bend which generally gets worse as the plague continues to form, often causing severely painful erections. These curves in the penis can make sexual intercourse painful, difficult, or sometimes even impossible depending on the decree of the curvature. In the beginning, peyronie’s disease begins with just some inflammation, or swelling, which can late become a hard more permanent scar.
The plaque that develops in these cases are very specific and differs completely from the type of plaque that has the ability to develop in a person’s arteries. The plaque seen within Peyronie’s disease cases is a benign, or noncancerous, and though some people think it is… trust that you can be assured in knowing that it is not by any means a form of tumor. The disease is not contagious nor caused by any known transmittable disease so by having sexual intercourse or any other physical contact with a person that has PD will not risk you contracting it. In fact, the name is deemed as scary because of the term disease, which can be defined elsewhere as simply an abnormality in the body’s own natural functions.
Early researchers thought this condition was a form of impotence, now called erectile dysfunction (ED). For those whom don’t know, ED is the experience that is attributed when a man is unable to achieve or keep an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse. Not all, but some men with Peyronie’s disease do experience ED, though it’s not a definite side effect that always occurs. Usually men with PD are referred to a urologist—a doctor who specializes in sexual and urinary problems.
In modern times exist a peyronie’s disease treatment that you can be
Penis injury or trauma to the penis is considered to be the most common cause for Peyronie’s disease (PD). However, no one seems to know for sure what happens that results in Peyronie’s or why some men get it while others do not. As a result, this makes it fairly difficult to give a definitive answer on both the prevention and treatment of the disease, i.e. if you don’t know what causes the problem, how can you prevent it or solve it? Most people agree that it is unlikely to control whether or not there was something that you could have done (or not done) to prevent yourself from ever contracting the disease.
Cause of Peyronies Disease – Starts Where?
Even though there is no certain answer on what brings about peyronies diseases, it is very commonly agreed by many (doctors and others, both professional and non-professional) that some of the most possible causes and the the most likely are as follows.
Peyronies can be described as a type of disorder in the body’s ability to heal wounds. The most likely cause of this issue is therefore some kind of trauma or injury to the penis. The penis injury could be a significant one occurrence type of incident, e.g. sport accident, extremely vigorous sexual activity or invasive penile procedure such as a prostatectomy. When the disease shows very rapid signs of development, this is generally assumed to be the biggest factor on why this is so. Keep in mind though, that PD can also be caused by a series of minor penis injuries / traumas to the penis, e.g. through normal sexual intercourse over time.
For example, men whom are suffering from erectile dysfunction, but able to maintain enough of an erection to persistently penetrate their partner are more likely to have penis buckling incidents as the penis may not be sufficiently rigid. If still trying to pursue activity, the bending of the penis can become constant enough to start causing micro-damage which can lead to severe problems later on.
Low Testosterone And Peyronies Disease
Testosterone has been shown to influence wound healing and recent studies have suggested a significant relationship between low Testosterone and Peyronie’s disease, meaning that low testosterone levels may be contributing cause for this disorder.
This Peyronie’s Testosterone Study showed 74.4% of Peyronie’s patients to have low testosterone level. The severity of the penis curvature was significantly greater for men with testosterone deficiency and for men with low free testosterone. Further studies are required to confirm this relationship but many doctors, including Dr. Mohit Khera, now recommend men with Peyronies to have their testosterone levels tested and treated if the results come back as lower than the standard. The identification, followed by correction, of low testosterone levels early on might even prevent the penis curvature to become greatly severe for some men.
Medication And Peyronie’s Disease
As with all medicines, a huge list of possible side effects generally accompany them. In most cases, there are more bad side effects than there are good possibilities that may come from the disorder. The number of medications that list Peyronie’s disease as possible side effects include; all beta-blockers, i.e. used to treat heart conditions and high blood pressure.
Commonly used beta-blockers include: Acebutolol (Sectral), Atenolol (Tenormin), Bisoprolol (Cardicor, Emcor, Zebeta), Metoprolol (Betaloc, Lopresor), Nadolol (Corgard), Nebivolol (Nebilet) and Propranolol (Inderal).
Other medications that list Peyronie’s disease as possible side effects include Interferon (used to treat multiple sclerosis) and Dilantin (anti-seizure medicine).
It is though important to keep things in perspective. The likelihood of developing Peyronie’s disease from taking above medicines is considered very low, if existing at all. Further studies are needed into this field.
However, if you need to take any of above medication you might want to raise your concerns with your doctor.
Other Possible Peyronie’s Causes
Peyronies is more common in some families so there might even be a genetic link, which has so far shown to be true. However, more studies need to be done before this can be a more definitive common.
One Family Study even showed that pedigree analysis of three families suggested that the Peyronie’s syndrome is a male limited, autosomal dominant trait, i.e. you only need to have the abnormal gene from one of your biological parents to inherit the disease.
Furthermore, there seems to be link between Peyronie’s disease and other genetic disorders, like some connective tissue disorder. Around 30% of people suffering from Peyronies also have accumulated some form of hardened tissue in other parts of the body, mainly in the palm (Dupuytren’s contracture) of their hand or in the foot (Ledderhose’s disease).
There is also an indication that PD may have a vascular cause, i.e. more men with the disorder seem to be affected by high blood pressure (hypertension) and hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis). Diabetes is also considered possible risk factor.
Some other possible causes have been raised but have not been shown (at least not yet) to be a likely cause of the disorder just yet. For example, a prospective study (2011) into the relationship between penile fractures and Peyronie’s disease showed that a Penile Fracture did not induce the development of the condition.
The bottom line is that whatever the cause of Peyronie’s disease is… it is highly unlikely that you could have done, or not done, anything to prevent getting it. What matters now is that if you have it, you need to decide what you are going to do about it?
There are several possible, even likely, known Peyronies risk factors. However the links between these factors and developing the condition have not been conclusively proven. Knowing about these risk factors may help preventing your Peyronie’s disease of getting worse than it already is.
First, what do all men with Peyronie’s disease have in common? Who can develop peyronies disease?
Who Can Get Peyronie’s Disease?
There are is no such thing as a typical Peyronies sufferer. Peyronies can affect any adult male, of any ethnicity, though some men are generally a lot more susceptible and prone to developing the disease than some others are.
PD is most commonly found in men between the ages of 45 and 65. This may possibly be because the natural elasticity of the connective tissue begins to decline as a person’s age increases. Age-related changes in the tissues may cause them to be more easily injured and less likely to heal well, if at all.
Men stay sexually active for longer these days, thanks to improved overall health and sexual performance aids such as Viagra and vacuum pumps. Peyronies risk factors are therefore increasing among older men, just as much as it’s increasing among younger Peyronie’s sufferers. For the youngsters, this may be due to their willingness to seek professional help moreso than men of older generations due to possible embarrassment.
Men of any ethnic group can develop Peyronie’s, though it seems to be more common in Caucasian men moreso than any other ethnicity. However, the reason could well be that they tend to be afraid of seeking medical assistance for this delicate condition.
How Common is Peyronie’s Disease?
Peyronie’s disease is most often described as a rare condition though most specialists believe it is much more common than one previously believed. The figure is now generally thought to be substantially higher than the official figures originally stated. This is partially due to the nature of the disease, i.e. many men are reluctant to seek help or even admit that there is a problem with their penis. Men with relatively mild symptoms may also not report them, or even be aware they have Peyronie’s disease.
A study done back in 1995 estimated that Peyronie’s affected approximately 1% of all men, while more recent studies have estimated that figure to be much closer between 3% to 9%.
The Association of Peyronie’s Disease Advocates (APDA) believes that Peyronie’s disease is seriously under-diagnosed and that in reality it actually affects more than 9% of all men, which means that it is nowhere near as rare of a condition as many seem to have reported.
Even Autopsy studies have shown that earliest microscopic changes associated with peyronies are actually quite common of a finding in the general male population. It seems that many men develop these changes but only a small portion of the changes ever evolve into anything serious enough to become noticeable by the human eye. Whatever the exact figure is, at least one thing is for sure, you are not alone.
What Are The Peyronie’s Risk Factors?
No one seems to know for sure what causes Peyronie’s or why some men get it but not others.
There may be a genetic link, i.e. PD could be inherited. There is also possible link with other genetic disorders (connective tissue disorder).
The following factors are more common among Peyronie’s sufferers then the rest of the population, making them possible Peyronie’s risk factors:
- Low testosterone
- Lifestyle, especially smoking
- Age (the prevalence of Peyronies increases with age)
- Undergoing invasive penis procedure (like prostate surgery)
- Low quality erection (making the penis more likely to buckle)
- Other health problems (e.g. diabetes and circulatory disorders like high blood pressure and hardening of the arteries)
These are all possible, even likely, Peyronie’s risk factors but the link between these factors and developing Peyronie’s is still yet to be conclusively proven.
Can You Prevent Getting Peyronie’s Disease?
Being that there is no definite cause of peyronies and any stated cause would purely be a speculation, it must be said that you cannot prevent getting Peyronie’s disease but you can certainly reduce the Peyronie’s risk if you base your lifestyle around preventing the possible causes that have so far been noted as likely causes.
Age is something we all must deal with, so since aging is something that you cannot prevent, the best you can do is monitor your overall health and act on any health problems as soon as detected. You can quit smoking, have your testosterone level checked, and also monitor your erection quality in order to act immediately should any erection problems arise. However, if you are reading this, you are likely to be already suffering from Peyronie’s disease else you would probably not have searched for such information to begin with. If this is the case, then taking the proper action can at least prevent the condition from getting worse and possibly even help to straighten your curved penis.
There are two stages Peyronie’s, the acute and chronic Peyronie’s phases.
The Acute Peyronie’s Disease
The first stage is called the acute or active Peyronie’s phase. This stage usually lasts up to 12 to 18 months. This is when most of the changes to the penis occur, these changes should stabilize during the chronic or stable Peyronie’s phase.
During this initial acute stage, over half of men with Peyronie’s experience some form of penile pain / painful erections. Penis pain is actually one of the first Peyronie’s Symptoms that most men notice.
The plaque is forming during the active Peyronie’s stage and there is inflammation in the area where the plaque is forming. The plaque can cause deformity of the penis. The most common is penis curvature (bent penis), but others are indentation, hourglass narrowing, loss of girth and penis shrinkage / shortening.
Since so much is changing during the initial active phase, most Peyronie’s specialists now believe it is important to start treatment during the acute Peyronie’s stage.
Most doctors now believe it is actually crucial for the long-term outcome.
The changes in the tissue elasticity in the acute stage are believed to be reversible whereas the loss of elasticity in the chronic stage is not. This is why doctors believe penis curvature (bending) responds best to medical therapy during the early active Peyronie’s phase.
The goal should be to stop the development of the disease, i.e. to reduce inflammation and reduce the likelihood of further penis deformity. Hopefully you will also experience full or partial reverse of your Peyronie’s penis problems.
It’s best to start your Peyronie’s Treatment within 6 months of noticing my first Peyronie’s symptoms. I of course can’t be sure if that made all the difference for me but I’m glad I didn’t “wait and see” as only 5 – 15% of men with Peyronie’s disease improve without any treatment. Those odds are against you and I was not willing to take that risk.
More and more Peyronie’s disease specialists agree with this… you should not waste the acute Peyronie’s stage in waiting and hoping for the best.
You can expect better results
the sooner you start your Peyronie’s treatment
The Chronic Peyronie’s Disease
The second phase is called the chronic or stable Peyronie’s stage. This stage is usually reached around 12 – 18 months after the first symptoms appear. During the chronic phase, the development of the disease usually stabilizes, hence the name stable phase. Penis pain usually resolves on its own and the plaque and penis deformity is likely to stabilize, i.e. not get worse but unlikely to improve much either without a treatment. Erectile Dysfunction may, or may not, occur during this phase, or continue to develop. There may also be calcification of the plaque. The acute Peyronie’s phase can return if more injury / trauma occur to your penis. Men can have acute stage flare-ups periodically over the years.
Even though most Peyronie’s specialists now recommend starting treatment a.s.a.p. and ideally during the active phase, many men get positive results from their treatment during the chronic stage. Therefore, if you have already reached the chronic Peyronie’s stage, don’t give up hope. Continue reading and develop a plan of action with your doctor and / or partner.