It’s no secret that the body changes with age. You might find that you have less energy or less strength than you used to, and while some age-related changes are normal, it’s important to recognize what’s not.
Your sex life changes over the years too, but pain or difficulting participating in sexual activities is a sign that something’s not right. Many men experience sexual disorders, but they’re embarrassed to bring it up at the doctor’s office.
If you notice penile curvature and experience painful erections, it could be Peyronie’s disease. Don’t ignore signs of sexual dysfunction, because seeking a diagnosis is the only way to find treatment that works for you. Dr. Stuart D. Shoengold and our urology team at the Center for Female and Male Sexual Medicine specializes in diagnosing and treating Peyronie’s disease.
Signs of Peyronie’s disease
Peyronie’s disease develops when scar tissue called plaque forms inside your penis. Scar tissue can form as a result of an injury to the penis, but most of the time, there’s no clear cause.
In about 70% of cases, plaque develops on the top side of the penis. However, it may also appear on the bottom or around the sides. Plaques are often very hard, and you might feel flat lumps or a fibrous band beneath your skin.
The most noticeable sign of Peyronie’s disease is a curved, painful erection. Scar tissue doesn’t stretch like healthy tissue, and it may make your penis bend upward, downward, or to one side. You may notice that your penis has indentations or an hourglass shape where scar tissue pulls skin inward. Many men also experience penile shortening due to Peyronie’s plaques.
Peyronie’s disease is linked to erectile dysfunction (ED), which is the inability to achieve or maintain an erection that’s firm enough for sex. Some men notice signs of ED before developing symptoms of Peyronie’s, while others develop ED in conjunction with Peyronie’s.
Along with physical symptoms like painful erections and penile shortening, Peyronie’s can cause anxiety and stress. The condition often makes sexual intercourse uncomfortable or impossible, affecting your personal relationships and your self-esteem.
Treatments for Peyronie’s disease
Every man’s penis is different, and having a curved erection doesn’t automatically mean that you have Peyronie’s disease. If you suspect you could have the condition, make an appointment with your urologist for a diagnosis.
Dr. Stuart Shoengold and our team offer evaluations for Peyronie’s disease. We conduct a physical exam that may include measuring your penis and its curve. If you’re diagnosed with Peyronie’s disease, then we recommend treatment based on the severity of your condition.
Oral medication for Peyronie’s disease generally isn’t effective, but a range of injectable treatments can stop plaque formation and reduce your symptoms. Intralesional therapy, interferon, or verapamil may break down plaques. In severe cases, surgery may be recommended.
XIAFLEX® could be a good option for you if your penis curves more than 30 degrees. It’s an injectable medication that helps break down the plaque, and it’s the only FDA-approved treatment for Peyronie’s disease. XIAFLEX, along with a gentle stretching routine that Dr. Shoengold gives you, can reduce penile curvature and make sexual intercourse more comfortable.
Don’t let a curved, painful erection keep you from enjoying life. Schedule a consultation to learn more about Peyronie’s disease and treatment options that work. Call our office in Millburn, New Jersey, at 973-218-9400 or book an appointment online.