Frankly, Peyronie’s Disease is one of those things that men have never even heard of – until it happens to them. There are no commercials about it to pique your interest. There are no products at GNC. There are no spokesmen. It’s completely in the closet. Until the day, like some men, you wake up with a penis that is not your own.
At least that’s what it feels like to many men. “It just happened over night; I couldn’t believe it,” said one patient. “I sat up in bed and looked down – and my penis was curling up at me. It wasn’t my penis at all!” And this can be one of the most challenging aspects in dealing with Peyronie’s; it’s as if you are suddenly in possession of an alien penis and yours is gone forever.
Peyronie’s Disease is an acute curvature or indentation of the penis, usually caused by some sort of repeated stress injury. Often men don’t even realize they are injuring their penis during sex or masturbation. The scar tissue begins to form and the penis begins to bend, twist, or be misshapen when erect. It can happen gradually or suddenly.
Peyronie’s Disease is different than the common congenital curve that many men have; anything under a 30 degree angle is considered normal. Peyonie’s can be a bend in any direction and sometimes two directions. Some penises develop a corkscrew look. Others have a girdling, or a tight indented ring, around the shaft of the penis. Sometimes erections are fine; other times erections are affected.
In my experience, I find that the men with Peyronie’s Disease have far more emotional trauma than any of the other sexual dysfunctions such as erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, etc. Many of the men we see are in clinical depression over it. There is a real grief process unfolding. There is anger, rage, frustration, fear, sadness, shame, humiliation, you name it.
I find that many men will no longer engage in sex just because they hate the sight of their penis. In almost all the cases, the partner really has no problem as long as intercourse is not painful. But when I talk to men, the mental anguish is evident. I think the majority of the men I speak with simply shun their penis. They don’t look at it, they hate to touch it, they don’t masturbate, and they don’t want sex. The psychological and emotional toll on men with Peyronie’s Disease is very real.
The truth is, there are treatments for Peyronie’s Disease and the sooner treatments begin, often the more successful they are. Xiaflex is the only FDA-approved medical treatment. However, we find success with non-pharmacological treatments as well. Men may use Vacuum Therapy, Traction Therapy, Modeling, massage, and stretching.
Generally, the more modes of treatment used, the better the outcomes. It is important to seek treatment as early as possible. Many men let embarrassment prevent them from going to the doctor’s office. The sooner you get help, the better you will feel!