We’re just going to say it — men can be stubborn when it comes to their health and going to the doctor. Many men put off seeing their doctor for painful or uncomfortable symptoms and try to just “power through.” But what happens when a problem begins affecting day-to-day life, your productivity, or relationships with others?
It’s especially understandable to want to avoid the doctor when it comes to talking about personal issues, including those that involve the penis. Sexual and penile dysfunction can be embarrassing to talk about, even with a doctor. One issue in this category that many men suffer with is Peyronie’s disease.
Whether you have been recently diagnosed with this condition or you are searching for potential causes of painful erections and other dysfunctions, learning more about this condition can help. We’re sharing the following information to help you take charge of your health and find the relief you’ve been searching for.
What is Peyronie’s disease?
Peyronie’s disease is a condition that causes scar tissue to form in the penis, making it curve. As many as 11 percent of men in the United States have probable cases of Peyronie’s disease. Researchers estimate this number could be higher because so many men are reluctant to report symptoms of this condition.
Men who have Peyronie’s disease experience pain during erections and difficulty maintaining erections during intercourse. As a result of these side effects, many men feel embarrassed, depressed, and frustrated.
What causes Peyronie’s disease?
While the buildup of scar tissue is the main contributor, researchers are still working to fully understand the causes of Peyronie’s disease. In many cases, this condition is connected to injuries from biking, horseback riding, and vigorous sexual activity. Other research has linked development of the condition to family history.
Common Risk Factors of Peyronie’s Disease
There are several factors that doctors and researchers have identified as increasing the risk of a man developing Peyronie’s disease. These include:
- Age: Men become more likely to develop this condition later in life, particularly in the 50s and 60s.
- Heredity: If a family member has been diagnosed with this condition, there is an increased risk of it developing in other relatives.
- Other connective tissue disorders: Many men with Peyronie’s disease have also been diagnosed with a similar condition in the hand known as Dupuytren’s contracture.
- Smoking: Like so many health conditions, smoking and other tobacco use may increase the risk of Peyronie’s disease.
Medical researchers are also exploring potential links to prostate surgery, nutrition, and comorbidities such as diabetes and obesity.
What are the symptoms of Peyronie’s disease?
Symptoms and their severity can vary for Peyronie’s disease, but the most common include:
- Scar tissue that can be noticeably felt under the skin on the shaft of the penis
- Difficulty getting an erection, or an inability to achieve or maintain an erection
- Change in penis length
- Curving or bending of the penis
- Complex bends, divots, or an hourglass shape in the penis
- Pain with erection or when the penis is touched
- Pain during orgasm.
Many report symptoms worsening during the first few months of developing the condition and then gradually leveling off. In some situations, pain may improve while penile curvature and shortening remain.
Understanding Potential Complications of Peyronie’s Disease
Peyronie’s disease can have a major negative effect on the quality of life and lead to many specific complications. This can include:
- Anxiety and depression
- An inability to have or enjoy sexual intercourse
- Relationship stress
- Difficulty conceiving
Despite the potential embarrassment around this condition, it is important to be proactive about treating Peyronie’s disease. The sooner you take action, the better your chances of achieving a positive outcome.
How is Peyronie’s disease diagnosed?
Peyronie’s disease should always be diagnosed by a qualified medical professional such as a urologist. Patients should expect to encounter the following steps during the examination:
- Review of medical history
- Detailed questions about symptoms, daily activities, and complications
- A full physical examination, typically including palpation of the non-erect penis
- You may be asked to take a photo of your erect penis to help with the evaluation
- Other diagnostic testing, such as ultrasound can help detect scar tissue formation and measure blood flow
Upon diagnosis, you can then work to develop a personalized treatment plan for your unique situation.
Treatments for Peyronie’s Disease
It is possible to overcome Peyronie’s disease with effective treatment. Conventional options, including medications, injections, and surgery help a very large number of men with this diagnosis. A treatment that has become possible in recent years is stem cell therapy. At Innovations Medical, men living with Peyronie’s disease can undergo our state-of-the-art stem cell therapy to help reduce the scar tissue buildup in the penile shaft. This can help to improve symptoms, including curvature and pain.
Contact Innovations Medical to Learn About Stem Cell Therapy for Peyronie’s Disease
If you’re looking to overcome Peyronie’s disease, Innovations Medical is here for you. Our skilled professionals help you decide which treatment is best for you — keeping you informed and confident in the next steps. We’ve been helping our patients look and feel their best since 2005, and even our most advanced procedures are often minimally invasive.