Peyronie’s disease occurs when fibrous scar tissue forms beneath the surface of the penis, creating a curvature that can be painful and interfere with having sex. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, researches estimate that roughly 1 out of every 10 men suffer from some form of the disease. Peyronie’s disease can sometimes resolve itself over a period of time, or it can get worse and require treatment.
While some penises may have a natural curve that is not problematic, anyone who has penis pain when erect or during sex should speak to their doctor to determine if these problems are due to Peyronie’s disease. Doctors may make the diagnosis by feeling the hardened tissue during a manual exam, taking an x-ray or ultrasound of the penis, or taking a biopsy of the tissue.
Causes of Peyronie’s Disease
While the exact cause may not be determined, Peyronie’s disease frequently occurs after physical trauma to the penis and is considered a wound-healing disorder. When the penis is injured or damaged, hard scar-like tissue called plaque forms due to excess buildup of collagen. This causes inelasticity and forces the penis to bend or arc, especially when erect. The damage may occur from one major trauma or from an accumulation of minor ones.
Injuries causing Peyronie’s disease may result from vigorous sexual activity or athletic activities that cause repeated banging and jolts to the groin. Other causes include:
Prostate surgery complications
- Autoimmune diseases that affect connective tissues
Family history, aging, and lifestyle factors such as smoking and use of drugs and alcohol
Symptoms of Peyronie’s Disease
Depending on the cause, Peyronie’s disease may develop quickly or gradually over time. The most common symptoms include:
- Scar tissue build-up under the penis skin
- Penis bend in any direction, especially noticeable when erect
- Change in shape, such as a shorter or misshapen penis
- Penis pain
- Problems getting or maintaining an erection and having sex
Treatment for Peyronie’s Disease
If you are having pain and difficulty having sex and suspect you may have Peyronie’s disease, you should seek care from your doctor. Since symptoms may resolve on their own, it may be best to start by focusing on lifestyle changes, such as eliminating smoking and using drugs or alcohol, and wait before doing anything else.
If this does not help or the symptoms are too severe, you may get relief from one of the following options:
- Prescription Drugs
The goal of prescription drugs is to reduce the plaque causing the problem. Some drugs are given orally, while others may be injected into the scar tissue of the penis to help break up the plaque.
A popular oral medicine used to treat Peyronie’s disease is Verapamil, which works by relaxing the blood vessels to improve the overall flow of blood and is often prescribed for high blood pressure and angina. The downside is that this drug may have adverse side effects for some men, such as low blood pressure and increased liver enzyme production.
An example of an injectable drug used for Peyronie’s disease treatment is Xiaflex. This injection works by dissolving some of the plaque deposits that can build up in the penis. The treatment also has side effects, which can include tendon, ligament, and nerve damage, and it can also cause excessive bleeding. Injectables are sometimes given in conjunction with exercising and manipulating the penis, which can be painful and can take up to a year to complete.
Surgery is an invasive procedure that may include a penile implant to help sustain an erection and straighten the penis and grafting to cover openings made by scar-tissue removal. Risks include penile shortening and loss of erectile function.
- Vacuum Devices
These are cylinders used daily over many months to attempt to stretch and bend the penis to a normal shape.
- Shockwave Therapy
This treatment involves noninvasive high-frequency low-intensity sound waves that pass through erectile tissue to clear plaque and to encourage the growth of new blood vessels. According to GAINSWave®, nationwide provider of shockwave therapy, the process is a non-invasive, drug- and surgery-free way to treat Peyronie’s disease pain.
This treatment uses a premium brand of shockwaves, or soundwaves, to break down scar tissue (plaque) and open blood vessels and create new ones. This increases blood flow, reduces the curvature of the penis, and corrects any potential erectile dysfunction.
Contact GAINSWave® for Information on Shockwave Therapy for Peyronie’s Disease
If you are suffering from Peyronie’s disease, there is help available. it makes sense to consider noninvasive shockwave therapy to treat it. GAINSWave® uses medical advisors and provides treatment at locations throughout the country.
Visit our directory today to find a local GAINSWave® therapy provider to treat your Peyronie’s disease and determine if it is right for you.