Peyronie's Disease
(Curvature of the Penis)

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What is Peyronie's disease?

Peyronie's disease (also termed Peyronie disease) is the development of scar tissue inside the penis that causes the penis to develop abnormal curvature (contracture) in the scarred area. The disease may occur in about 1% to 8% of men, most frequently in men aged about 40 to 70 years old. It can occasionally occur in younger men.

What causes Peyronie's disease?

The exact cause of Peyronie's disease is not known. However, whatever can cause plaque or scar formation in the penile shaft is a likely causal candidate. Researchers have suggested several possible agents such as vitamin E deficiency, beta-blocking medications, elevations in serotonin, and genetic causes. Some researchers think that minor vascular traumas to the penis (during sex or athletic endeavors) that may reoccur over time may lead to scar formation. None of these possible agents or processes is proven to be the cause to date.

What are the symptoms of Peyronie's disease?

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The symptoms of Peyronie's disease usually are a combination of one or more symptoms as follows:

  • Unusual angulation of the penile shaft (either when flaccid or erect or both)
  • Pain during erections and/or during sex
  • Scarring or plaque palpated at the abnormal bend or angle of the penis
  • An indentation of the penis shaft at the site of the plaque or scarring
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Anxiety/stress
  • Inability to have intercourse

There are, in general, two phases of the disease. The acute phase lasts about 18 to 24 months and usually has the highest pain component; the chronic phase (begins at about 18 to 24 months after first symptoms) usually has less pain but in this stage, the plaque or scarring is more refractory to treatment (see below) and may begin to develop large calcium deposits (calcified plaque or scarring).

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/1/2013

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Peyronie's Disease Symptoms

What Are the Symptoms of Peyronie's Disease?

The symptoms of Peyronie's disease usually are a combination of one or more symptoms as follows:

  • Unusual angulation of the penile shaft (either when flaccid or erect or both)
  • Pain during erections and/or during sex
  • Scarring or plaque palpated at the abnormal bend or angle of the penis
  • An indentation of the penis shaft at the site of the plaque or scarring
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Anxiety/stress
  • Inability to have intercourse