Peyronie's disease is somewhat of a mystery to medical researchers although some doctors firmly believe that it develops, in part, because of micro-traumas to the inner lining of the penis. Such things as hitting or injuring the pelvic region could cause such damage although the majority of men with the condition are normally unable to recall any such traumatic events.
A relatively rare condition affecting around one percent of the male population, its onset tends to be around middle age, although men of any age may be afflicted. In many cases, Peyronies manifests itself in patients with no history of trauma while other cases to develop slowly over many years with no apparent reason.
Peyronies is not really a disease in the true sense of the word but rather a condition, which is characterized by a hard lump or plaque that forms over time on the penis shaft. The plaque may trigger localized inflammation to develop, and this can sometimes result in scarring. The plaque can also cause the penis to lose its natural flexibility, which can cause substantial pain during erection. Many men afflicted with Peyronie's disease may find intercourse impossible due to the pain or irregular bending associated with the condition.
Many patients suffering from Peyronie's disease may find that the pain associated with the condition often subsides over time. However, the bending of the penis during an erection may continue long after the pain subsides.
The plaque that forms on the penis is essentially benign and its location is directly related to the direction of the penis' arc. For instance, if the plaque is mostly concentrated on the top of the penis, it will tend to bend it upwards while plaque on the under side will cause the penis to bend downwards. In some cases, the plaque may be located on both the top and under side, which will cause the penis to become indented, scarred, and eventually shortened.
Symptoms of Peyronie's disease can range from mild to severe and will appear, in the majority of cases, very gradually. Some men afflicted with Peyronie's disease may also develop fibrosis in areas of the body that are marked by elastic tissues, such as the feet or the hands. It is estimated that about thirty percent of men will experience fibrosis in conjunction with Peyronie's disease. Another condition that may be affect men with Peyronie's disease is known as Dupuytren's contracture of the hand.
Peyronies disease treatment can represent a challenge for both doctor and patient since little is known about the cause of the condition. The goal of therapy usually consists of keeping the patient sexually active.
Unfortunately, doctors and medical researchers still do not know enough of Peyronie's to determine a definite cause or therapy treatment for the condition. Some doctors prescribe courses of vitamin E or B-complex to their patients, although there is little or no conclusive evidence that this form of treatment has any effect.
Radiation therapy uses high-energy rays directed at the affected area in an attempt to reduce the concentration of plaque. Although radiation therapy appears to be effective at reducing the amount of pain, it does not get rid of plaque altogether or retain its effectiveness over the long term.
Surgical intervention is an alternative for Peyronies disease patients that have not responded to other forms of therapy. In most cases, patients will need to undergo surgical therapy in order to achieve long-lasting results. However, surgery should always be considered as an option of last resort.