Peyronie’s disease is the most common cause of penile pain, with around 4 in 100 men between the ages of 40 and 70 experiencing it. Aside from the pain involved, Peyronie’s disease can cause considerable stress and depression.
Dr. Paul H. Chung is an expert in diagnosing and treating Peyronie’s disease. Many men feel embarrassed and uncomfortable discussing their symptoms even with their doctor. Since Dr. Chung specializes in Peyronie’s disease, you don’t need to feel embarrassed talking to him about what’s going on.
Your penis has three tubes inside: your urethra, which carries urine and sperm out of your body, and two others called the corpora cavernosa. The corpora cavernosa are spongy tubes that fill with blood during an erection. All three tubes are wrapped together in a structure called the tunica albuginea.
Peyronie’s disease most likely begins with a minor injury to your penis, specifically to the tunica albuginea. It could be during sports, vigorous sex, or even penetrating with weak erections. The injury causes scar tissue which develops into a plaque that is the hallmark of Peyronie’s disease.
The plaque makes the tunica albuginea less flexible and can cause a bend in your penis when you have an erection, or it can cause a narrowing in the middle, which is sometimes called a “bottleneck” or “hourglass” deformity.
The acute phase of Peyronie’s disease usually lasts about 6 months, but can be as long as 18 months. This is the phase when the plaque is forming. During the acute phase the plaques that cause the bend in your penis begin to form and worsen. It’s during this phase that you’re most likely to feel pain during erections.
The chronic phase comes next. The bend stops getting worse, and pain during erections likely stops. However, you may still have difficulty having sex due to the bend, or simply feel uncomfortable.
The best treatment for you depends on the severity of the bend in your penis, the thickness of the plaques, and your overall health, among others. Dr. Chung suggests a treatment plan based on your unique situation.
For a very few people, about 13 in every 100, Peyronie’s disease goes away without any treatment. For others, there are numerous treatments including oral medications, injections, penile plication—suturing the other side of your penis to correct the bend—surgical removal of the plaques, a penile implant, or some combination of treatment approaches.
Many patients with Peyronie’s disease will also suffer from erectile dysfunction. It can be challenging to understand which came first, erectile dysfunction or Peyronie’s disease, but they can affect each other. Patients who suffer from both Peyronie’s disease and erectile dysfunction will require separate treatments for both issues; however, a penile implant is often a viable solution to correct both problems at the same time.
The important thing to remember is that you don’t have to just live with the discomfort of Peyronie’s disease or feel embarrassed by it. Dr. Chung is an expert who can offer treatment options that may be beneficial. If you have specific questions, or you’d like to learn more about Peyronie’s disease and how it may be treated, schedule an appointment at one of Dr. Chung’s two Philadelphia offices or his office in Cherry Hill.