Learning About Peyronie's Disease

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What is Peyronie's disease?

Male reproductive system

Peyronie's (say "pay-ruh-NEEZ") disease is a curve in the penis. It is caused by scar tissue. The scar tissue is in the tissue that expands to form an erection. The scar tissue makes the penis less flexible, forcing it to bend during an erection. The scar tissue may be caused by an injury to the penis.

Most men who have this disease are able to stay sexually active.

What can you expect?

At first, the most common symptoms are painful erections and a curve in your penis. Later on, the pain may get better or go away completely. But the curve in the penis remains.

The curve is most easily seen during an erection. It may be so severe that intercourse is not possible. Some men may not be able to keep an erection.

The disease rarely gets better on its own. But you usually don't need treatment unless you have painful erections or the disease gets in the way of your sex life.

If pain is a problem or the curve is getting worse, see your doctor. Early treatment may help.

How is it treated?

  • NSAIDs such as ibuprofen (Advil) or naproxen (Aleve) can help treat pain.
  • Pentoxifylline, a combination of vitamin E and colchicine, or carnitine may reduce scarring. These are oral medicines (pills).
  • Collagenase, interferon, or verapamil may reduce scarring. These are given as shots into the scar tissue.
  • Surgery helps some men. But it is usually only used if you can't have intercourse. Experts usually suggest that you wait at least a year after diagnosis before trying surgery.
  • Counselling or sexual therapy may be useful for problems with sexual intimacy caused by the disease.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

Where can you learn more?

Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

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