Cause of Peyronie’s Disease

Trauma frequently seen as Peyronie’s cause

While the cause of Peyronie’s disease remains open to speculation, some theories are more popular than others.  However it starts, it is important to remember that Peyronie’s disease is a disorder of the tunica albuginea.

Among the several explanations for a possible Peyronie’s disease cause, trauma or direct injury to the penile shaft is almost always mentioned as either a primary cause or at least a significant secondary cause.  More specifically, the cause of Peyronie’s disease is universally explained as a wound that does not heal in the normal way, whether related to injury usually associated with sexual activity or a medical procedure. Even when other causes are mentioned it seems that injury will usually be associated in some way.

Role of wound healing in Peyronies disease cause

The penis contains two sponge-like, tube-shaped chambers (corpus cavernosae) with many tiny blood vessels that fill with blood during an erection.  Below the two corpora cavernosae is the corpora spongiosum through which runs the urethra or passage way to release urine from the bladder.  Each of the corpora cavernosa are enclosed in a thin and flexible sheath of elastic tissue called the tunica albuginea, which stretches slightly during an erection. Injury to the penis can cause inflammation and damage to the tunica albuginea.

If an injury heals as it should then usually there are no long-term problems.  But if the healing of the injured tunica does not proceed as it should, it can lead to excess internal scar formation, known as Peyronie’s disease.  The area of the injured tunica albuginea is not as flexible as before injury.  With the area less flexible, when the penis attempts to become erect the region with the scar tissue doesn’t stretch, and the penis curves, bends, develops a dent or becomes distorted in some other way (bottle neck or hourglass deformity).

The tunica albuginea has many layers, with very little blood circulation between them.  When an injury to the tunica albuginea occurs, the tissue fluids associated with the inflammatory process can remained trapped between these layers for many months. During this time the cells found in the inflammatory fluid can release chemicals that lead to increased formation of fibrous tissue (fibrosis) that causes reduced elasticity of that area, internal scar tissue and possibly calcification.  The combined effect of these tissue changes is the characteristic penile deformity associated with Peyronie’s disease.

Inherited abnormality as cause of Peyronie’s disease

There is some evidence of a genetic cause or predisposition to PD related to an inherited abnormality of human leukocyte antigen B27 (HLA-B27).  Peyronie’s disease is statistically more likely to occur in men whose immediate family members also have PD, or systemic lupus erythematosus (a connective tissue disorder).  PDI research shows that 37 percent of men with Peyronie’s disease also experience Dupuytren’s contracture, in which hard contracted develops on the palms of one or both hands.

Other conditions as cause of Peyronie’s disease

  • Vitamin E deficiency has been associated with the Peyronie’s disease, primarily because early Peyronie’s disease research showed treatment with vitamin E demonstrated success in a significant number of cases.  Since that time less interest has been shown in using vitamin E as a Peyronie’s treatment.
  • Inderal and the PDE5 inhibitor class of drugs (Viagra, Cialis, Levitra) used to chemically stimulate development of an erection have been known to cause Peyronie’s disease.
  • Diabetes when severe or prolonged will precipitate damage to the blood vessels in any area of the body, including the penile shaft.  PDI research shows that 21 percent of men with PD also have diabetes.

Regardless of the cause of Peyronie’s disease, it is important to start treatment as soon as possible to increase your ability to heal and repair the underlying injury to the tunica albuginea. Refer to the Peyronie’s Disease Institute website to learn how to start Peyronie’s disease treatment using Alternative Medicine.

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