Peyronie’s disease: what it is, symptoms, causes and treatment

Sexuality is an important part of who we are, being part of our socio-emotional development and identity, and being one of the most powerful and common sources of physical gratification.

In the sexual act, a wide variety of organs and parts of our body come into play, being among them (and often the only ones considered to be relevant) the genitals.

This part of the body, like others, can suffer from various alterations that make it difficult to function. Peyronie’s disease is an example in the case of men (Or “Peyronie’s disease”), a disorder capable of causing great pain and making it impossible to have sex with penetrating penis. It is this disease that we will be talking about throughout this article.

    What is Peyronie’s disease?

    Peyronie’s disease, also called plastic induration of the penis (or popularly “penile / twisted penis disease”), is a medical condition or problem in which the penis deflects or bends due to the appearance of a fibrous band or plaque in the corpora cavernosa. This band of fibrous tissue, benign and non-cancerous, can be understood as scar tissue, the hardening of which prevents the penis from stretching normally during erection.

    The curvature of the limb usually causes a deviated and abnormal erection which can be painful for the subject and can also make it impossible to have penetrative sex, which involves sexual dysfunction. Pain can appear during or even without the need for an erection, and it is common for the generated curvature to increase over time until it reaches a stabilization phase.

    It is important to keep in mind that there are penile morphologies that tend to bend without having to present this disease and without causing inconvenience to their owners, the most characteristic of Peyronie’s disease being the band. fibrous and the extreme curvature of the penis.

    More than health

    Symptoms and consequences

    In some cases, Peyronie’s disease can lead to erectile dysfunction (in fact this is one of its possible main causes of biological origin), and there is loss of blood flow to the glans due to the ‘strangulation caused by fibrous tissue. Sometimes there is also a shortening or narrowing of the penis, especially due to the curvature.

    This disease usually appears in Caucasian men between the ages of 40 and 50., And it’s not common before that (although there are cases). This is a more frequent alteration than it seems, other types of population, such as those of African and Asian descent, barely register cases.

    The set of disorders caused by Peyronie’s disease can lead to significant psychological impairment: pain and sexual dysfunction can lead to anxiety and avoidance of emotional and sexual contact, anxiety , feelings of worthlessness, restlessness and even depression.

    The causes of this disease

    Causes of Peyronie’s disease they are not fully identified and it is generally accepted that this alteration has a multifactorial origin.

    However, one of the most common causes of this disorder is the cause of micro-injuries to the penis (for example, a blow or the product of sudden intercourse) that end sporadically or throughout life. the corpora cavernosa.

    There have also been cases linked to previous penile surgery, or later prostate cancer treatments. Age factors, the presence of a family history (which could indicate the existence of a genetic predisposition) or previous connective tissue problems / disorders have been observed as risk factors. Diabetes, hypertension, or smoking can also influence and facilitate this disorder by affecting the strength and flexibility of blood vessels, which can degenerate into bruises which, when closed, lead to the creation of scar tissue.

    treatment

    Although there are some cases of spontaneous remission, these are very few. In most cases, Peyronie’s disease requires medical or pharmacological intervention., Which is usually aimed at reducing the curvature of the penis and restoring its functionality, so that it does not cause pain and is allowed to establish penetrative relationships.

    Among the various existing alternatives, one of them is surgery. In this sense, it may be necessary to completely resect the fibrous tissue or make cuts in the plaque, with a collagen-fibrinogen-thrombin graft to fill the lesion and help restore limb functionality. These types of procedures have proven to be very effective although they can have side effects such as penile shortening.

    Another option is the application of shock waves which weaken the plaque and promote recovery of the injured area. Drugs such as colchicine, vitamin E, tamoxifen or potassium paraeminobenzoate are also used, although their effectiveness is limited.

    It should also be noted that you may need psychological assistance, especially if you feel inadequate or have symptoms of anxiety or depression. In some cases, this may also require couples therapy.

    Bibliographical references:

    • Cortés-González, JR and Glina, S. (2010). Conservative treatment of Peyronie’s disease: colchicine versus colchicine plus vitamin E. Spanish urological procedures, 34 (5)

    • Hauck, EW and Weiner, W. (2001). François de la Peyronie and the disease that bears his name. The Lancet, vol. 357.

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