Do I have Peyronie’s disease?

Even though you probably have a fairly good idea by now if you have Peyronie’s disease or not, it is unwise to guess about something as important as this. There is only one sure way to know if you have Peyronies disease and that is to go to a urologist with a lot of experience in this area, not just your local family doctor, for a complete history and examination.   No man wants to go to a doctor to have his private parts evaluated, but there is no absolute way to know what you are dealing with unless you get checked out by an expert.  So just bite the bullet, and get it done.

Diagnosing Peyronie’s disease is sometimes not easy

Keep in mind that you do not have to have all signs and symptoms of Peyronie’s disease to make a diagnosis.  A diagnosis can be made with only a few of the classic signs and symptoms if they are very strong and obvious.

You can get a fairly accurate idea if you do or do not have Peyronie’s disease by noting your response to a few simple questions that will be presented, as well as by making a few basic observations.  Some of these questions and observations are rather basic and obvious, and are the same questions your doctor will also ask you when you go for your physical examination to learn about your penis problem.

Rule out other health problems 

To make an accurate diagnosis of a health condition like Peyronie’s disease  it is important to rule out other potential problems that could cause some or all of the signs and symptoms that concerns you.  For Peyronie’s disease it is important to know you are not actually dealing with a larger health condition of the prostate gland, urethra, or penile tissue.  An underlying condition could surprise you and cause you to assume too much about your health.  Luckily there are not that many signs and symptoms of  other health problems that could complicate matters.  Problems and issues that must be considered are:

  • Do you have recent weight loss you cannot explain or account for?
  • Do have a fever?
  • Is there any pus or discharge coming from the tip of the penis?
  • Do you have redness, broken skin or lesions on the surface of the genitals and pelvic region?
  • Have you noticed a problem with frequent urination, urgency when you urinate or pain when you urinate?
  • Do have pain when you press firmly on the abdomen or region of the lower pelvis or genitals?

These considerations might point to other health problems that might mimic or exaggerate some complaints similar to those that occur with Peyronie’s disease.   Only after exhaustive elimination would you be able to assume you do not have any other health problem that could be causing your penile pain and curvature.

Ask yourself some basic questions

Other questions to ask yourself are:

1. Have I had trauma or injury to the penis within the last year?   This could be something as obvious as an injury that occurred during sexual intercourse, or perhaps during work or a recreational activity, or something as subtle as prolonged pressure from tight fitting clothes that put excessive pressure in the groin area or from an activity like sitting on an uncomfortable bicycle seat.

2.  Am I genetically predisposed to Peyronie’s disease?  Have you ever heard family stories of your grandfatehr, father, uncles, nephews or cousins having a history not only of Peyronie’s disease but also Dupuytren’s contracture (which is a similar and related problem of nodules on the palms of the hands or fingers that are flexed toward the palm).   Are my ancestors from England, Wales, Scotland Ireland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland or the Netherlands, where Peyronie’s disease is much more common than in other parts of the world?

3.  Have I ever taken any prescription drugs that are implicated in causing Peyronie’s disease as a side effect?  The list of potential drugs is very long, so only general categories will be listed here, so you can look up more in a Google search:

  • Statin drugs to lower cholesterol
  • Beta blocker drugs used for a variety of heart problems
  • Erection producing drugs (PDE5 inhibitors) like Viagra, Cialis or Levitra
  • Hair growth drugs like Propecia
  • Drugs of any type that were taken for any reason, that were injected into the penis – especially when done multiple times

4.  Have I ever been catheterized or received a cystoscopic examination, meaning having medial instruments passed up the urethra of the penis, especially when the procedure was done while I was under general anesthesia?  The more often these instruments are passed up the urinary passage tube of the penis the greater the possibility for injury to the tissue of the penis.

5.  Was my previously straight erection now curved, bent or distorted in any way?  Changes in the appearance and structure of the penis are not always present in the early months of  Peyronie’s disease, but are very common after the first year.   Some men have a balanced presentation of Peyronie’s scars or plaque so that the effect of the fibrous plaque cancel each other out and result in a rather straight penis; this is somewhat unusual but it does happen.

6.  Has my penis gotten shorter and smaller around that it use to be?  Loss of penis size is a common finding of Peyronie’s disease.  This occurs due to the fibrous tissue within the penis contracting and preventing normal expansion of the erectile tissue.  Depending on the size of the penis before onset of Peyronies, a man can lose up to two inches, or more, in length, and similar loss of girth.

7.  Do I have pain in the penis that cannot be explained by trauma?  Peyronie’s pain is variable.  Some men never have it, and some men have terrible pain.  Some men have it early and other men have it late in the condition.  Some men have pain only when erect, some men have it only when non-erect (flaccid), and other other men have pain constantly no matter what they do.

8.  Can I feel nodules, lumps, bumps or masses of flat tissue within the bulk of the penis tissue? This is perhaps the most variable finding of Peyronie’s disease and raises most doubt about the accuracy of a diagnosis when the classic PD nodules cannot be found; even urologists often cannot locate these masses of fibrous scar tissue below the surface of the penile skin.   The Peyronie’s plaque or scar is not located on the surface; it is deep within the penis.  It is most easily located when the penis is soft or flaccid – meaning not erect.  This will be true 99% of the time, so don’t bother to examine yourself unless you are flaccid.  Some PD nodules are best described as “beans’ or “peas,” but these are seldom difficult to locate.  Those that are poorly defined, flat, soft and often larger than what is expected pose the greatest difficulty to locate.

All of the above information must be considered and evaluated in order to make a Peyronie’s disease diagnosis.  Not all findings must be present to make a diagnosis, so great experience, knowledge and skill are needed to be correct.  This can be a complex and difficult task, and is best left to a medical professional.  Guessing about Peyronie’s disease is not smart.