A disorder of the connective tissue of the male penis is called Peyronie’s disease. In this disorder, fibrous plaques or tissues, or hard lumps form on the upper or the lower side of the penis and this gives an abnormal curvature to the penis. This is a non cancerous condition that can however be painful, and may make sex difficult or impossible. Except for some 12 to 13% of cases that may resolve on their own, treatment is usually required.
The symptoms of Peyronie’s disease
The symptoms of this disease can appear at any age but it is most common in middle-aged men.
The symptoms could include inflammation that could progress to a hardened area or scar tissue. The plaque could form on the top area, due to which the penis could curve upward or vice versa. At time extensive plaques could cause indentation and shortening of the penis.
In some cases the plaques could cause a lot of pain and the curvature may be so advanced as to make sexual intercourse impossible. However in some cases the condition may cause no problems with normal sexual intercourse.
Many men who have Peyronie’s disease may also have other connective tissue disorders, such as those of the hand or perhaps of the feet.Fibrosis of the hands and/or feet may also be seen among sufferers of this disease.
Causes of Peyronie’s disease
There is thought to be a genetic element to this disease, but the actual causes of the disease are not fully understood. However one commonly cited cause for the problem is physical trauma or injury to the penis, which could occur during sex even if the person is not aware of having sustained any kind of injury.
Treatment for Peyronie’s disease
Some cases may resolve on their own, or may be mild enough that treatment is not required.
There are no treatments for the problem that proven to be effective. However treatment involving Vitamin E supplements, Para-aminobenzoate tablets and so on may be required. In some cases injections consisting of certain steroids, collagenase or other medications may be prescribed.
For advanced disease, surgical options to remove the plaque may be used. In some cases radiation therapy may be used. However this is not known to remove the plaques and may merely help control pain.