Peyronie’s Disease Overview
Peyronies Disease, sometimes called Induratio Penis Plastica (IPP), is a change in normal structures of the penis, transforming functional portions of penile tissue into scar tissue. This is a wound healing process gone awry somewhat like keloids. Once started, the process spreads across undamaged tissue, turning it to scar tissue. Onset of Peyronie’s Disease is characterized by varying forms of deformity of the penis. Most often, this is manifest as a bent penis or curved penis, but it is also often presented as an indentation in the penis, loss of penis length, or loss of penis girth. Often combinations of these penile deformities are present. Another characteristic includes lumps or nodules on the penis. All of these are caused by abnormal scaring of the tunica albuginea or the smooth shaft of the penis that contains the spongy corpora cavernosa. As the spongy corpora cavernosa fills with blood during an erection, the scar tissue or plaque on the tunica albuginea prevents areas of the penis from expanding. This is similar to the way a balloon would respond if a piece of scotch tape was placed on it then it was inflated. This results in the visible deformity of curves, dents, bends, or loss of size associated with the erect penis of the Peyronies Disease patient. These deformities may be mild, or may progress to a degree that makes intercourse impossible. Peyronies Disease patients may or may not have associated pain. This penis pain, if present, can range from slight to severe.
Much like with any limiting disease, this is a difficult question to answer in either a clinically or a philosophically satisfying manner. We do know that significant trauma can cause Peyronie’s Disease. This contributes to a theory that undetected micro-trauma contributes to much of the remaining Peyronie’s Disease. The truth is, no one knows. We do know there seems to be a genetic component with some higher incidence in families. There also seems to be a higher incidence of males of Northern European descent with this disorder. It also has some commonality with a group of conditions called “superficial fibromatoses” which includes Dupuytren’s contracture, frozen shoulder and Ledderhose disease. It most commonly strikes men between the ages of 45 and 65 although many younger men are also effected. In our Peyronies Disease Support Group, we have more than a few men that are in their early twenties and men in their late seventies. In fact, our oldest member is in his late seventies and has had Peyronies Disease since his early twenties.
Along with pain and/or physical deformity, those dealing with this disease, typically suffer varying degrees and manifestations of psychological issues. Intimacy can be lost. Relationships can be strained, often more from the psychological component than the actual physical component. If not dealt with, all of this can become a self-perpetuating cycle. Both Peyronies Disease and the psychological components of the disease require an early pro-active approach with open communication to assure the best outcome.
Come tell us what’s on your mind. Ask a question, share an experience, or sit quietly and listen to the members of your forum
Our Role at the Peyronies Disease Society is to provide support that works. We do this through ourPeyronies Disease forum. Here you will find discussion and information on all the challenges and options associated with the many facets of Peyronies Disease. We offer informative articles and we can direct you to other resources. We offer this support in an informal environment that maximizes communication. Ours is a lightly moderated forum. We provide enough structure to assure dignity, confidentiality, and easy access of information. We allow enough freedom for relaxed, open conversation.