The vast majority of men are born with normal penises and grow up thinking nothing about the shape of their penises, confident that their sex life will be just as good as that of the next fellow. Unfortunately, nature is not always kind to us and the good things in life come mixed with a many bad things.
Some men have the unpleasant surprise to find that their penis develops scar tissue and starts bending. This condition is known to health care professionals as Peyronie’s disease. It is believed that as many as 1 percent of all men suffer from this disease.
Peyronie’s disease is a condition named after Francois de la Peyronie, surgeon to Louis XIV of France, who was the first man to describe a treatment in 1743. While the cause of this disease is not well understood, its mechanism is perfectly clear.
The “tunica albuginea” is the tough layer of connective tissue that contains the sponge-like Corpora Cavernosa. For reasons unknown, scar tissue begins to form in the “tunica albuginea”, which prevents the normal expansion of the penis during erections and, in time, bends the penis to one side or the other.
Although the disease is somewhat painful at first, the pain eventually goes away on its own. The only effects of this disease are the curvature, which is visible when the penis is erect, and possibly a shortening of the penis in the flaccid state.
Most men suffering from it are perfectly able to have sex with their partners and experience no pain during intercourse. The disease can affect men of all races and ages, but it is most commonly seen in Caucasian males ages 40 and up. It is not contagious and is in no way related to cancer or other serious conditions.
While diagnosing of Peyronie’s disease is quite simple, treating it is not. Most urologists have little knowledge of possible treatments and one should seek the advice of an urologist who specializes in this disease. Some treatments that have been tried are drugs containing L-arginine and sildenafil. Surgery is also considered an option in severe cases.