Sexual health is an especially important aspect of the general well-being of men. Proper sexual health can boost the confidence level and general life satisfaction in many men. However, some diseases can have a detrimental effect on male sexual health and cause distress and dissatisfaction, impacting in their normal day-to-day life. One such sexual condition is Peyronie’s disease. But what is Peyronie’s disease? Well, Peyronie’s disease, or PD is a sexual disorder of men that is characterized by severe penile curvature. It can also cause severe pain in the penis. Due to this issue, men’s sex life can get severely damaged. But what causes this disorder? One of the more prominent causes of PD is penile injuries. And here in this article, we will discuss more about this topic.
History of PD
Although Peyronie’s disease is not as common as Erectile Dysfunction, it is not a new or recent issue. The history of PD can be traced back to the 18th century. This issue was named after Francois Gigot de la Peyronie, a French surgeon who documented several such cases in 1743. But for a long time, the general understanding regarding this issue was low. Only recently researchers and doctors have been able to learn more about this disease due to the technological advancements of the medical sector.
PD after injury
Penile injury is believed to be the most common cause of Peyronie’s disease. Such injuries can come in the form of vigorous sexual activity, accidents, or sports-related injuries. Penile injuries can cause bleeding and swelling inside the elastic membrane of the penis. Scar tissues start to form, and plaque develops. This hard plaque causes the penis to curve by pulling at the surrounding tissues.
Phases of PD
Peyronie’s disease typically has two stages. These are the acute phase and chronic phase. The acute phase is the first stage of PD. In the acute phase, fibrous scar tissues start to form and cause the penis to bend during erection. In this stage, penile curvature can occur in any direction and may be mild or severe. Patients may experience swelling or inflammation and pain or tenderness in the penis. In this stage, a lump or hard area in the penis may start to develop slowly. Even during the acute phase, patients may face difficulties in performing sexual intercourse and obtaining strong erections. This phase usually lasts for about 6-12 months, though it can last longer in some patients.
The acute phase is then followed by the chronic phase. In the chronic phase, the fibrous scar tissues stop growing and become harder and stabilized. Patients may be able to see and observe the penile curvature more clearly in this phase, although the pain and inflammation usually subside. During both phases, the problem of Erectile Dysfunction may also get even more severe.
Implications of PD
Peyronie’s disease can pose several negative implications on the sexual as well as general mental health of men. One of the more common consequences of PD is Erectile Dysfunction. Men who suffer from PD, face difficulties to obtain strong erections due to the lack of enough blood supply in the penis. This disease can cause extreme difficulties for the patients to perform sexual intercourse. Due to this issue, both a male and his female partner may be deprived of a satisfactory sex life. This can enable anxiety, stress, or depression to build up, which can further hamper the general well-being of both male and female partners. Relationship breakup is also a possibility if this issue is not addressed properly.
Other Risk Factors for PD
Other risk factors for Peyronie’s disease include autoimmune disease, diabetes, genetics, and connective tissue disorders. For a long time, Peyronie’s disease was considered a genetic issue, which means if any man has PD, the rest of his male family members become more vulnerable to this disease. Certain autoimmune diseases like Lupus can also contribute to the development of PD in men. Research has also shown that men with diabetes-induced ED and Dupuytren’s disease are more vulnerable to this issue than others.
Treatments of PD
For a long time, there were not a lot of effective PD treatments available. However due to the technological advancements in the medical sector, today several effective treatment options exist for PD.
Oral Medications: Medicines such as pentoxifylline, colchicine, and vitamin E are used to treat Peyronie’s disease in several men around the world. But it is important to note that, such medications can have adverse effects on the body. That is why it is always mandatory to consult an experienced medical professional before taking these medicines.
Injections: Reducing plaque size and penile curvature can also be done with the help of intralesional injections of collagenase and verapamil.
Topical Agents: Nitro-glycerine and potassium para-aminobenzoate, which are topical agents, can be used to treat PD as well.
Nesbit Procedure: It is a surgical process which involves shortening the longer size of the penis to mitigate the curvature.
Tunica plication: This surgical procedure involves folding and suturing the tunica albuginea on the shorter side of the penis to minimize the curvature.
Grafting: In the grafting process, a tissue graft is used to cover the defect in the tunica albuginea and treat the curvature.
Penile Vacuum Pumps: VED for Peyronie’s disease or penile vacuum pumps do not target the plaques of the penis, but rather minimize several symptoms of PD. These devices stretch penile tissues, and the penis gets straightened in the process.
Shockwave Therapy: Shockwave therapy is a non-invasive treatment option that utilizes special shockwaves to break down the plaques and improve blood flow in the penis. It is a new treatment option, which was initially developed to break down kidney stones.
EMTT Therapy: EMTT therapy or extracorporeal magnetotransduction therapy is yet another non-invasive treatment procedure that utilizes a strong magnetic field. EMTT therapy and shockwave therapy, both can be used simultaneously to effectively treat PD.
Lifestyle Modifications: Physical exercises, a healthy nutritious diet, weight management, and smoking cessation, all can improve the overall health of men. These tasks can improve the penile as well as the general health of men.
Effectiveness of shockwave therapy
Various oral medications and surgical treatments are available for Peyronie’s disease. But it is important to note that, most of these treatment procedures possess several negative side-effects. Some traditional non-invasive treatments cannot provide a long-term solution. Moreover, most patients are usually not so fond of surgical treatments. However, most of the concerns associated with these types of treatments can be bypassed through the usage of shockwave therapy. Shockwave therapy was originally developed to break down the kidney plaques and later doctors and researchers have found out the efficacy of this therapy in breaking down penile plaques, which minimizes penile curvature and improves blood flow in the process. This therapy also contains no major side effects whatsoever. According to MansMatters, a specialized shockwave clinic based in the UK, shockwave therapy can be extremely effective in minimizing penile curvature without posing any major side effects. This clinic also claims that EMTT therapy can boost the effectiveness of shockwave therapy even further when both therapies are used together. MansMatters also provides several other modern non-invasive treatments as well, including Functional Magnetic Stimulation and NanoVi Exo.
How can you prevent PD?
Although Peyronie’s disease can be a genetic issue for some men, some general steps can be taken to minimize the risk of its development. First, you should always try to lead a healthy life. Avoid smoking, excessive drinking, and drug usage. Follow a nutritious diet and exercise regularly. By doing these steps, you can improve your sexual as well as general health. But most importantly, try to be safe from penile injuries. Avoid playing certain sports that pose a risk of causing injuries to the penis. Even if you play these types of sports or indulge in activities that can cause penile damage, try to safeguard your penile and pelvic region all the time. As vigorous intercourse or masturbation can also cause penile damage, you should avoid these kinds of activities at all costs.
Treating PD is not easy, but that does not mean that it is not doable, especially if a patient receives appropriate treatments. If you are suffering from PD, then do not panic. Make sure to be calm and seek medical help. With proper treatments, you can hope to minimize penile curvature and enjoy your sex life yet again.