Life is stressful enough, and your sex life should be one area in which you can relax and enjoy yourself. Unfortunately, Peyronie’s disease may have other plans, making your erections uncomfortable, if not downright painful.
Fortunately, as a men’s health specialist, Dr. Robert Cornell has considerable experience helping his patients who develop Peyronie’s disease. Here’s a closer look at Peyronie’s disease and how we can help restore your sex life.
Peyronie’s disease at a glance
The first thing to understand about Peyronie’s disease is that it’s not at all uncommon among men — it affects up to 1 in 11 men in the United States.
Peyronie’s disease describes a condition in which plaque (scar tissue) builds up in a connective tissue called the tunica albuginea, which forms a casing around the three tubes in your penis — your urethra and your two corpora cavernosa.
Since the plaques are made up of tough tissues, they don’t flex when you have an erection, which can lead to:
- Painful erections
- Lumps in your penis
- Curvature in your penis
The curvature depends on the location of the plaque and which way the tissue pulls your penis — it can go up, down, or to the side.
The cause of Peyronie's disease isn’t entirely understood, but we believe that it may be tied to trauma to your penis (impact or rigorous sex), as well as genetics.
The two stages of Peyronie’s disease
We often divide Peyronie’s disease into two stages: 1) The acute stage when the plaques in your penis form, which typically lasts 5-7 months; and 2) The chronic stage, which describes the period after the plaques have stopped forming.
In some cases, Peyronie’s disease clears up on its own after the acute phase, leaving no lasting effects.
For others, however, the plaque buildup remains and leads to ongoing problems with painful erections and a curved penis that isn’t conducive to intercourse.
Treating Peyronie’s disease
Since Peyronie’s disease occurs in two stages, how we go about treating the condition depends upon which stage you’re in.
If you’re struggling with acute Peyronie’s disease, we can turn to injections that tackle the plaque buildup, such as Interferon, collagenase, or verapamil. As well, some laser therapies may be able to break apart the scar tissues. In treating your plaques as they develop, our goal is to help you avoid any long-term issues.
If your Peyronie’s disease is in the chronic stage and you’re not happy with the effects, we can surgically straighten your penis or use a penile implant to help with curvature. Dr. Cornell has extensive experience with these types of procedures, and he works with you to meet your goals.
If you suspect you may have Peyronie’s disease and you want to explore your treatment options further, please contact our office in Houston, Texas, to set up a consultation.