It’s common for the penis to curve slightly to the left or right when it’s erect. But if you have a more significant bend in your penis, which may cause you pain or difficulty having sex. You may wish to consider treatments to help straighten the penis. You may be able to feel the scar tissue (plaque) through the skin or you may have pain in a specific part of your penis as the scar tissue forms. During an erection, your penis can bend up, down, or to the side depending on the location of the scar. Some men with this condition don’t have a curve, but might have an area of indentation or “hourglass” appearance.
How Does the Penis Normally Work?
- The penis is made up of three tubes:
- Two erectile bodies, which are tubes of tissue that fill with blood to make the penis erect
- The urethra, which is the tube that you use to urinate
- To get an erection, two main arteries called the cavernosal arteries fill the tissue in the erectile bodies with blood.
- The penis also has veins that drain that blood from the erectile bodies.
- The nerves in the penis that are responsible for erections are called the cavernosal nerves, and they sit on the prostate. Men who have had pelvic radiation or surgery on the prostate may have had some nerve injury that can cause a decrease in sexual function.
- Scar tissue. The scar tissue associated with Peyronie’s disease — called plaque but different from plaque that can build up in blood vessels — can be felt under the skin of the penis as flat lumps or a band of hard tissue.
- A significant bend to the penis. Your penis might curve upward or downward or bend to one side.
- Erection problems. Peyronie’s disease might cause problems getting or maintaining an erection (erectile dysfunction). But, often men report erectile dysfunction before the beginning of Peyronie’s disease symptoms.
- Shortening of the penis. Your penis might become shorter as a result of Peyronie’s disease.
- Pain. You might have penile pain, with or without an erection.
- Other penile deformity. In some men with Peyronie’s disease, the erect penis might have narrowing, indentations or even an hourglass-like appearance, with a tight, narrow band around the shaft.
Causes of Penile Peyronie
The underlying cause of Peyronie’s disease is unknown. Although, it is likely due to a buildup of plaque inside the penis due to repeated mild sexual trauma or injury during sexual intercourse or physical activity.
Diagnosis of Penile Peyronie Disease
Penis curvature can easily be diagnosed by a simple physical examination. Film and ultrasound may be required for determining the degree and extent of calcification. Penis curvature manifests itself with painful and insufficient erection.
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