Can Peyronie’s disease lead to Erectile Dysfunction?
Discussing sexual problems with healthcare professionals and loved ones is often challenging. This is the case with la Peyronie’s disease, with an average age onset of 50 years and subject to increasing awareness. What is the first step in its management? An appointment with your doctor to firstly relieve the strain and secondly find the solutions to improve your daily life.
What is Peyronie’s disease?
Peyronie’s disease has one main characteristic: that of deforming your penis. Deformation can occur upwards (dorsal), downwards (ventral), (lateral) left or right. Some men may also notice a shortening of the penis. The culprit? Thick, non-stretchable scars, called plaques, that form in your penis and cause it to deflect. The origin of the disease is unknown. However, an insult (repetitive microvascular injury or trauma) to the penis which may occur for example during sexual intercourse is the most widely accepted hypothesis.
Can Peyronie’s disease lead to erectile dysfunction?
Erectile dysfunction could be associated with Peyronie’s disease till 50%1. It is important to define whether it pre- or post-dates the onset of Peyronie’s disease. There are several possible causes:
- Psychologically, illness is always hard to manage. Experiencing pain during the deformity of your penis and during intercourse can lead to losing libido, desire and a complex in relation to the deformity of your organ. During these moments, it is important not to close in on yourself: talk about how you feel, both to your partner and to a health professional (sexologist, for example).
- Following inflammation or tissue destruction, you may develop fibrosis. This fibrosis causes a decrease in penile vascularization, blocking the blood in the penis during an erection. Erectile difficulties may then be experienced. Deformity, narrowing or shortening of the penis can also complicate your sexual activity.
Is there a cure for Peyronie’s disease?
The extent of the deformation, narrowing, or shortening is unique to each person. It is therefore essential to adjust the treatment to suit your criteria and needs. Consult your urologist for advice on the most appropriate treatment.1
– Oral Treatment
– Topical electric current therapy
– Drug injections into the plaque (Verapamil, clostridium collagenase)
– Extracorporeal shock wave treatment
– Mechanical stretching by vacuum pumps or external penis extenders
Your specialist can also advise you on effective surgical treatments, to be carried out only when the condition is stable. If you suffer from Peyronie’s disease combined with erectile dysfunction, your specialist may recommend a penile implant. This will regulate your erectile difficulty and straightening your penis. The penile implant is a surgical operation and should not be taken lightly: you must discuss it at length with your specialist and that you give yourself a significant period of reflection.
However, if no erectile difficulty has been diagnosed, the so-called Nesbit operation could be effective. The scar tissue narrows one side of your penis and causes a curvature. The operation makes it possible to shorten the long side of the organ (not affected by the disease) to balance the length of the cavernous bodies and correct the curvature.
However, it is essential to know that this treatment, even if effective, reduces the size of your penis. Being diagnosed with Peyronie’s disease is not an end. There are many solutions to recovering a healthy sex life.
If you experience discomfort or pain due to the curvature of your penis, consult your doctor as quickly as possible. Have the courage to ask questions, discuss the solutions at length and, above all, do not give up!
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1: Hatzimouratidis K, Eardley I, Giuliano F, Hatzichristou D, Moncada I, Salonia A, Vardi Y, Wespes E; European Association of Urology. EAU guidelines on penile curvature. Eur Urol. 2012 Sep;62(3):543-52. update on Uroweb, March 2017, https://uroweb.org/guideline/ penilecurvature/?type=pocketguidelines