What is Peyronie’s Disease?

Dec 22, 2014 0 Comments in Erectile Dysfunction by
What is Peyronie’s Disease?

What is Peyronie’s Disease?

Peyronie’s disease is a chronic inflammatory condition of penis that is characterized by the fibrous thickening of the tunica albuginea. In poorly addressed situations, the scarring of penile tissue leads to an arched, agonizing and upstanding penis that presents with:

  • Painful Penile erections: Clinical data indicates that more than 35 to 43% individuals develop varying degrees of sexual dysfunction due to painful penile erections (1)
  • Cicatrix/ scarring of the penile tissue: A cicatrix or fibrous plaque may be observed as a clump at or around the penile tissue. You can also feel the hardening of otherwise spongy tunica albuginea under the penile skin.
  • Arching of penis: In about 83.8% males, penile arching is also reported. Arching is most prominent at or around the mid-shaft and worsens during penile erection (1).

Peyronie’s disease significantly compromises the capacity of the affected individual to live a normal life. This condition not only restrict males from engaging in normal sexual activity but may also lead to pain and discomfort that warrants medical attention.

According to the data reported by Kadioglu and colleagues (2), the overall prevalence of Peyronie’s disease is approximately 3.7 to 7.1%. Yet, researchers believes that the actual number of cases are much more.

Pathophysiology of Peyronie’s Disease

male sexual organ imageThe exact pathophysiological mechanism associated with Peyronie’s disease is not known but a number of factors may play a significant role in the process.

Micro-trauma and resulting penile inflammation theory: Most widely accepted explanation is repeated trauma or micro-injury to the penile tissue (especially during the act of intercourse) that lead to inflammatory response and consequently fibrosis. In the absence of repeated trauma, the inflammatory process resolves; however, individuals who are exposed to ongoing injury (such as contact sports, vigorous sexual activity etc.) the fibrotic process eventually involve the blood vessels and underlying penile tissue to cause generalized fibrosis.

Other causative agents are:

– Certain drugs (especially beta-blockers and other anti-hypertensive agents like propranolol hydrochloride) are strongly associated with Peyronie’s disease (1)

– Uncontrolled diabetes is believed to increase the risk of inflammation and resulting fibrosis after minor penile injuries

Insufficient medical data also links Peyronie’s disease to hypertension, hypercholesterolemia and atherosclerosis.

Risk Factors Associated with Peyronie’s Disease

Gray1155Insignificant trauma to the penis does not cause Peyronie’s disease but there are certain risk factors that may impair the healing process or initiate penile inflammation; such as:

  • Connective tissue disorder: A positive history of connective tissue disorders is strongly associated with Peyronie’s disease. This includes autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis as well as non-immune conditions.
  • Physiological aging: Prevalence of erectile dysfunction and other complications is low in younger adults. The prevalence of ED in adults suffering from Peyronie’s disease under the age of 25 years is 6% only, as opposed to 43% in adults over 50 years of age (4).
  • Heredity: Due to poorly explained reasons, Peyronie’s disease is more frequently reported in some genetically predisposed individuals.

Other relevant risk factors that may aggravate or deteriorate the complications associated with Peyronie’s disease are; history of smoking; prostrate surgery and environmental health issues.

Why is it Important to Seek Treatment for Peyronie’s Disease?

It has been observed that a number of males never seek medical consultation or advice to address this condition. The resultant effect is; further deterioration in the cosmetic as well as physiological functions of the penile tissue.

Here are a few most frequently reported complications:

– Stress or anxiety regarding your sexual capabilities and relationships can lead to psychological issues and ailments (such as anxiety disorders, depression, anxiety disorders etc.)

Sexual dysfunction and erectile issues affects the quality of reproductive life and may impede the capacity of the affected male to impregnate her female partner.

– In severe fibrosis, the overall length of penis is also compromised leading to a shrink penis.

It is highly recommended to speak to a primary care physician in order to learn more about the potential treatment options.


  1. Sommer, F., Schwarzer, U., Wassmer, G., Bloch, W., Braun, M., Klotz, T., & Engelmann, U. (2002). Epidemiology of Peyronie’s disease. International journal of impotence research, 14(5), 379-383.
  2. Kadioglu, A., & Sanli, O. (2007). Epidemiology of Peyronie’s disease. In Peyronie’S Disease (pp. 9-18). Humana Press.
  3. Casabé, A., Bechara, A., Cheliz, G., De Bonis, W., & Rey, H. (2011). Risk factors of Peyronie’s disease. What does our clinical experience show?. The journal of sexual medicine, 8(2), 518-523.
  4. Palmieri, A., Imbimbo, C., Creta, M., Verze, P., Fusco, F., & Mirone, V. (2012). Tadalafil once daily and extracorporeal shock wave therapy in the management of patients with Peyronie’s disease and erectile dysfunction: results from a prospective randomized trial. International journal of andrology, 35(2), 190-195.