Affecting a relatively small percentage of men (from 1% up to 9%), Peyronie’s disease is not common but can cause troubling symptoms for men of any age, although it most often affects men of middle age. You may be more at risk to develop Peyronie’s disease if you smoke or have high blood pressure, diabetes, or a surgery to your groin area. But what exactly is Peyronie’s disease?

Scar Tissue and Plaque

Peyronie’s disease is the formation of scar tissue or plaque along the length of the penis, in the corpora cavernosa, which is the area that hardens when filled with blood during sexual arousal. This hardened tissue cannot be seen but can sometimes be felt. If you have Peyronie’s disease, your penis may bend or arc when you have an erection as the result of this scar tissue. The cause of Peyronie’s is not known, but doctors speculate that it could be brought on by an injury to the penis, and therefore an inability to heal itself, as the scar tissue forms. This tissue is not cancerous.

Painful Erections

If you have Peyronie’s disease, you may or may not have painful erections, but Peyronie’s can certainly lead to painful erections. Usually no pain is felt with Peyronie’s disease when the penis is flaccid; it is only when the corpora cavernosa fills will blood, i.e. you get an erection, that pain can be felt. Your penis may bend or arc at an odd angle, and this can cause pain. The pain may decrease over time, stay the same, or worsen. It tends to decrease over time. These painful erections and the odd angle of the erect penis can make it difficult for men with Peyronie’s disease to have successful sexual intercourse.

Stressful Sex

Many men who have Peyronie’s disease experience stress or anxiety in times of physical intimacy with their partner. Whether someone has had Peyronie’s disease for some time or is just beginning to experience symptoms, sexual intercourse can be a challenging and painful feat. This stress and anxiety may come from the odd form of the penis as well as the physical discomfort that a man feels when he has an erection or has sexual intercourse. For men who struggle with Peyronie’s disease, practice patience during times of physical intimacy. Men who have this condition should also follow up with their doctor for treatment options.

Peyronie’s disease can be embarrassing, painful, and uncomfortable for many men. While it’s something a male may be born with or it could be something that happens overnight, it’s a condition that has a great effect on a man’s life and should be checked out by your doctor if you are experiencing symptoms.