What Causes Peyronie's Disease?

What Causes Peyronie's Disease?

Peyronie’s disease can result in bent erections that may make your sex life embarrassing to discuss and painful to experience for you and your partner. Changes in the penis that Peyronie’s causes may also lead to erectile dysfunction (ED) and a loss of sexual desire.

Board-certified urologist and men’s health specialist Dr. Mike Hsieh of La Jolla, California, explains the underlying cause of Peyronie’s disease and treatments that can help restore your confidence and sexual enjoyment.

Understanding Peyronie’s disease

Peyronie’s disease is named after the French surgeon François Gigot de la Peyronie, who first described it in 1743.

The condition causes abnormal curvature of the erect penis and is related to flattened plaques of tough fibrous scar tissue that form just under the skin. Most of these plaques occur on the top portion of the penis but may also develop on the bottom or sides of the shaft.

Depending on where it’s located, the scar tissue may cause the penis to bend upward, downward, or off to one side during an erection.

Plaques can encircle the shaft of the penis and cause an indentation at the scar site that results in an hourglass or bottleneck shape when the penis is erect. Peyronie’s can also cause soft erections or obvious shortening of the penis.

Peyronie’s is most common in men over 40 and may develop over years or seem to occur overnight.

What causes Peyronie’s?

Researchers believe the scar tissue associated with Peyronie’s may result from injury to the penis that occurs with rough or vigorous sexual activity, injury sustained during certain sports, or other trauma to the penis.

You may not remember a single event that caused an injury since the condition may build up over time. What is not clear is why some men develop Peyronie’s and others don’t.

It could be related to the way your body’s connective tissue responds to small or repetitive micro-injuries. Connective tissue supports muscles, joints, organs, and skin throughout the body and helps repair damaged tissue.

Certain factors appear to increase your risk of developing Peyronie’s. These include:

Notably, Peyronie’s does not interfere with fertility but may result in erectile dysfunction due to decreased blood flow to the penis. Depending on the degree of curvature, it can also cause significant pain with erections.

How do you treat Peyronie’s?

Dr. Hsieh develops personalized treatment strategies for Peyronie’s based on the results of your evaluation and the degree of curvature and discomfort you’re experiencing.

Small plaques may not require treatment. Moderate symptoms may respond to a series of injections or painless shockwave therapy to help break up the scar tissue.

For severe curvatures that cause significant pain, Dr. Hsieh may recommend minimally invasive or robotic surgery.

Schedule an evaluation with Dr. Hsieh today for an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment for Peyronie’s disease or any of the other men’s health services we offer. Call our office today.

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