The Link Between ED and Peyronie’s Disease
Sometimes men with ED also have Peyronie’s disease.
Erectile dysfunction is the inability to get and/ or maintain an erection sufficient enough for sexual intercourse. Sometimes men with ED also have Peyronie’s disease. Fortunately, urologists specialising in sexual health are trained to treat both erectile dysfunction as well as Peyronie's disease.
Peyronie’s disease (PD) is the development of fibrous scar tissue inside the penis that causes curved and/or deformity of the penis and painful erections49. The causes of PD aren’t fully understood, but the disease may result from repeated injury to the penis, genetics, connective tissue disorders, age or other health conditions.50 Penises vary in size and shape so a curved penis may not be cause for concern. If, however, curvature prevents you from having sex or causes pain, you should talk with your doctor. Nearly a third of men with PD complain of pain and abnormal penile curvature.51
Complications of Peyronie’s disease include49:
- The inability to have sexual intercourse
- Difficulty achieving or maintaining an erection (ED)
- Anxiety or stress about sexual abilities or appearance of the penis
- Stresses on the relationship with your sexual partner
Erectile Dysfunction & Peyronie’s Disease: The Link
Erectile dysfunction is common among men with Peyronie’s disease. Peyronie’s occurs in up to 9% of adult men, but approximately 75% of men with the disease will also experience ED.52 Studies have shown that 22–54% of men with PD often struggle with having erections firm enough for sex.39 ED may be a symptom of Peyronie’s disease:49
- Signs and symptoms may appear suddenly or develop gradually
- Scar tissue (plaques) can be felt under the skin of the penis as flat lumps or bands of hard tissue
- Bend to the penis may curve upward, downward or bend to one side. It may also be a narrowing of the penis with an hourglass appearance and a tight narrow band around the shaft
- Erection problems may cause problems getting or maintaining an erection (ED)
- Shortening of the penis
- Pain: may have penile pain, with or without an erection.
If your symptoms are severe or worsen over time, your doctor may recommend medication or surgery. The effects of PD and ED can be long-lasting if left untreated. These conditions often result in increased risk of depression, low self-esteem and relationship difficulties. These issues can affect both the man’s and his partner’s quality of life.53
Your ED treatment may actually start before prostate cancer surgery with oral medications. A penis pump may be added after surgery to help increase blood flow to your penis during recovery. If ED persists, the penile implant may be an option. The implant is concealed inside the body and offers support for an erection whenever it is desired.
Treatment options for Peyronie's Disease
If you are suffering from Peyronie's disease, there are available treatment options you can discuss with your urologist or GP, some examples include:
- Oral medication
- Incision or excision
- Grafting procedures
Finding a satisfying treatment for Peyronie’s disease can be a life-changing event for many men (and their partners) who may have struggled for years with a condition that can impact their self-esteem and affect their intimate relationships.
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