Peyronie’s disease symptoms

What are the signs and symptoms of Peyronie’s Disease?

Signs of a health problem are those changes or problems that can be observed or recognized by an outside observer, and are objective in nature.

Symptoms of of a health problem are those changes or problems than are known only to person with the health problem, and are subjective in nature.

Signs of Peyronie’s disease are:

1. Penile distortion – This means a bent or curved penis, or some type of deformity (dent, ding, shortening, hourglass or bottleneck appearance), and/or loss of penis size in length and girth.  The most common distortion is an upward bent penis, and the least common distortion is a downward bent penis; the penis can also bend to left or right or any point between, as well as twist in any direction.  The direction, location and degree of deformity depends on the size, shape and location of the Peyronie’s plaque of fibrous scar material within the inner layer of the penis, called the tunica albuginea.

2.  Nodule or mass of fibrous tissue – This fibrous tissue is what Peyronie’s disease is all about.  It takes the form of a thickened and dense bump, lump, nodule or flat band of excess scar tissue, known as a plaque (pronounced “plak”).  This foreign tissue is located deep within the penile shaft, under the skin, and for this reason cannot be seen from the outside; it can only be felt wit the fingers or located with an ultrasound examination.   The Peyronie’s plaque is benign, meaning it is not  noncancerous and it is not a tumor that can spread.  Peyronie’s disease is not contagious and is associated with any transmittable microorganism.

3.  Reduced erection ability and reduced sexual function – Because the Peyronie’s plaque is located in a place within the penile shaft that can interfere with trapping blood in the penis, it is common for erectile dysfunction to develop.  This type of ED is sometimes different than ED from other causes because the area where the blood is not trapped can be small and localized, resulting in a soft or partially developed erection that affects just part of the shaft; when it occurs it is seen as a dent, ding or hinge deformity of the shaft, or even as a bottleneck or hourglass deformity.   As is typical of Peyronies, the amount of ED is variable and can also affect the entire shaft when the plaque allows no trapping of blood anywhere within the shaft.

Symptoms of Peyronie’s disease are:

1.  Pain – Variable pain in terms of location, severity, duration and when it occurs; sometimes a case of PD will not express any pain.   When it occurs the pain of Peyronie’s disease is usually experienced in or near the area of primary scar formation; because it is common to have more than one scar, or a large, the pain can be felt over a large area at times.   The pain can be mild or severe, constant or occasional.  Most often the pain of Peyronie’s disease is experienced only when erect, but some men report they have pain only when flaccid.   

2.  Reduced libido – Feelings of reduced sexual interest is common in Peyronie’s disease.  This is usually a result of wanting to avoid the pain that occurs during sexual activity with a curved penis, or because of embarrassment or shame associated with feelings of inferiority caused by the loss of penile size or deformity.  Reduced libido  can also occur because of failure to engage in prior sexual encounters due to difficult penetration or erectile dysfunction.  Men mistakenly assume their partner will see them as less masculine and less desirable as a sexual partner, and so they subconsciously or deliberately withdraw from sexual activity.

As the above shows, all Peyronie’s disease symptoms and signs tend to be variable from one man to another.  If a survey was taken of 100 men with PD a wide pattern of signs and symptoms would be demonstrated.  It would be obvious that Peyronies is expressed in different ways in different men.  For this reason it is difficult to make a diagnosis of Peyronies disease because some signs or symptoms are often missing, reduced or magnified.

Is the curved penis a congenital penile curvature or Peyronie’s disease?

The answer to this question usually is simple to determine.  Because Peyronie’s disease is an acquired condition, there was a time when the bent penis or deformity was not present; the same is likely true of the pain and nodule that appears with this condition.   A congenital penile curvature is a condition that is present from as long as man can remember, all of his life.

A lifelong congenital curvature of the penis is caused by one of the two primary chambers of the penis being larger than the other, or not of an equal size.  This variation of size between the right and left sides of the body is common in the body, as seen in the face and extremities.

While Peyronie’s disease symptoms and signs may change over time, especially early during the course of the problem, the appearance of a congenital problem does not change.   The curvature so common in Peyronie’s disease gradually worsens over the first one or two years, and then stabilizes.   This change of the curvature occurs because of changes that occur in the structure of the Peyronie’s scar within the shaft.   The pain that is slightly less common in Peyronie’s disease usually gradually improves over the first one or two years, and often disappears.