Skip to Content
Home > Wellness > Health Library > Peyronie's Disease
Peyronie's disease is
an abnormal curvature of the penis caused by scar tissue in the erectile
tissue. Because the scar tissue prevents straightening of the penis, the
curvature is most obvious during an erection. The curvature may be so severe
that it prevents penetration during intercourse.
Peyronie's disease usually affects men who are 50 and older.
Although the exact
cause of Peyronie's disease is unknown, some experts believe the scarring is
caused by injury to the penis from accidents, sports, or vigorous sex. During sexual intercourse, the penis can be injured by being bent during penetration or by pressure from a partner's pubic bone.
Experts also wonder if this disease involves a problem with wound-healing.
Peyronie's disease is not caused by cancer and does not increase the risk
of cancer. It is not caused by
sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Symptoms of Peyronie's
disease may develop slowly or suddenly. Common symptoms include:
Peyronie's disease is usually divided into two stages:
disease is usually diagnosed using a medical history and physical exam.
Your doctor will ask you questions about when you first noticed your symptoms
and whether the symptoms were gradual or sudden. This will help determine which
stage of Peyronie's disease you are experiencing.
of Peyronie's disease are usually most noticeable when the penis is erect, your
doctor may inject a drug into your penis to make it erect. This will help your doctor see where the erectile tissue is scarred. Other
tests that may be ordered include:
Peyronie's disease rarely gets better on its own. For men who have a slight curve that isn't getting worse and who have good erectile function, treatment usually is not
needed. But if pain is a problem, or if the curve is getting worse and interfering with your sexual activity, then getting treatment may help. And early treatment during the acute phase may also work better than waiting until you're in the chronic phase.
If your doctor is a primary care doctor, he or she may refer you to a urologist.
Most men are able to remain sexually active. Counseling can help couples
maintain an active sexual life.
Medicines may help treat pain and reduce how much the penis curves. They include:
There is not much evidence from studies showing how well any of these medicines work to heal the scarring and reduce the curve.
Surgery is only considered for men
who have severe pain, a severely curved penis, or sexual dysfunction related to
Peyronie's disease. Surgical options include removing the scar tissue or
shortening the unaffected side of the penis (plication). In some cases, use of
a penile prosthesis may be used to help keep an erection during
Other Works Consulted
McAninch JW (2008). Disorders of the penis and male urethra. In EA Tanagho, JW McAninch, eds., Smith's General Urology, 17th ed., pp. 625–637. New York: McGraw-Hill Medical.
Nehra A, et al. (2015) Peyronie's Disease: AUA Guideline. https://www.auanet.org/education/guidelines/peyronies-disease.cfm. Accessed December 10, 2015.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal MedicineAdam Husney, MD - Family MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerChristopher G. Wood, MD, FACS - Urology, Oncology
Current as ofMay 24, 2016
Current as of:
May 24, 2016
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Christopher G. Wood, MD, FACS - Urology, Oncology
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2016 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
I Want To...
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.