Peyronie’s disease is a penile disorder, in which the penis becomes curved due to plaque (scar) formation in the penile tissue under the skin. These patients have a painful and abnormal erection, which interferes with doing sexual intercourse properly.
To understand Peyronie’s disease, we need to understand the structure of the penis and the physiology of erection under normal conditions.
The penis is a spongy tissue that consists of urethra, and two corpora cavernosa. The urethra is a hollow tube that carries urine outside the body during urination and the sperms to the vagina during the sexual intercourse. Above urethra, there are two corpora cavernosa. Corpora cavernosa are two spongy tubes that contain blood sinusoids. Outside these structures, Tunica albuginea, which is a white fibrous tissue sheath, surrounds the urethra and the two corpora cavernosa. Tunica albuginea consists of collagen and elastin, which gives it the rigidity and flexibility.
During the erection, blood flow to the penis increases and fill the blood sinusoids within the corpora cavernosa leading to its swelling and stiffness, which compress the veins and prevents blood outflow from the penis. This process increases the intracorporal pressure, and the erection occurs. The tunica albuginea gives the penis its straight shape during the erection.
In Peyronie’s disease, scar tissue replaces a part of the normal tunica albuginea. This scar tissue consists of collagen fibers without elastin as in the normal tunica albuginea, which makes this scarred part rigid and inflexible. During the erection, the penis can’t take its straight shape and curves around scarring. The severity of the condition and its symptoms depend on the degree of the curving.
The human penis varies in size and shape among men, from straight to slightly curved. But, if there is a noticeable curving during the erection, you should see your doctor.
Peyronie’s disease affects about 10% of men; its incidence increases with age, but you shouldn’t consider it a sign of aging and ignore it.
Peyronie’s disease doesn’t resolve spontaneously and requires treatment, and early treatment is better because it can control the symptoms and prevent disease progression.
Now, we will discuss the Peyronie’s disease to know more about it by answering the following questions:
- What are the causes and risk factors of Peyronie’s disease?
- What are its symptoms?
- How do doctors diagnose it?
- What are the available treatment options?
» Also, we will discuss Peyronie’s disease versus the normal penile curvature.