Peyronie’s disease: symptoms, cause, and treatment

The Peyronie Disease symptoms consist of an abnormal deviation in the shape of the penis, which causes it to bend at an angle during an erection. The deflection is caused by the formation of scar tissue in the wall of the erectile tissue of the penis. The curvature can be so strong that sexual intercourse is difficult and painful and in some cases not even possible. It is not clear exactly what causes this condition. Researchers suspect that it can develop after a trauma, such as hitting or bending. Minor damage can result in the formation of scar tissue, causing the penis to become crooked if it is stiff. For example, the injury can be caused during sexual intercourse if the penis becomes overstretched. The diagnosis ‘Peyronie’s disease’ is often made on the basis of a physical examination. In severe cases, surgery can provide a solution.


What is Peyronie’s disease?

The condition is named after a French surgeon, Fran├žois de la Peyronie, who for the first time described Peyronie’s disease in 1743. Peyronie’s disease, also called induration penis plastic, is characterized by an abnormal deviation of the shape of the penis. causing it to bend at an angle when it is stiff. This is because scar tissue (plaque) forms in the wall of the erectile tissues of the penis.


The thickening itself is benign. There is no tumor or cancer. The condition is not contagious and it is not caused by a sexually transmitted disease (STD). The normal, slight curvature of the penis is not covered here.



The symptoms that occur are:

  • the curvature of the stiff penis in a horizontal or vertical direction or a shortening of the penis when it is stiff;
  • pain in the penis during erection;
  • a thickening in the wall of the penis that feels like a hard lump or bulge when the penis is weak;
  • (possibly) erectile dysfunction.


Peyronie’s disease cause

The cause of Peyronie’s disease is not fully understood, but a number of factors seem to affect its development. Fibrous scar tissue (plaque) develops in the deep tissues of the penis. Suspected injury to the penis is thought to contribute to this. For example, the penis could be damaged during sex, a sporting activity or as a result of an accident. However, most men can not recall a specific trauma to the penis. During the healing process scar tissue develops, which can lead to a lump that you can feel in the penis or a curvature of the penis. With Peyronie’s disease, the area with the scar tissue will not leak during an erection, and the penis will, therefore, get into a curvature, which may even be painful.


Other causes

Peyronie’s disease develops gradually in some men and does not appear to be related to injury or trauma. The research will have to show whether Peyronie’s disease can be associated with a hereditary trait or certain health problems.


Risk factors


Injury to the penis is designated as a risk factor.



Peyronie’s disease is also associated with the contracture of Dupuytren (contracture palmaris), a similar problem that causes a deformation of the palm of the hand and Lederhausen’s disease, where connective tissue is formed in the soles of the feet. It appears that about 10% of patients suffering from Peyronie’s disease also have Dupuytren’s contraction.


Genetic predisposition

Peyronie’s disease is more common in some families, suggesting genetic vulnerability.



Atherosclerosis (arteriosclerosis) is found in 30% of cases. Arteriosclerosis can lead to inflammation of the vascular wall and scarring.


Disease of Peyronie symptoms

The symptoms may appear suddenly or gradually develop. The most common symptoms are:

  • Formation of scar tissue (plaques) that is felt under the skin of the penis as flat nodules or a band of hard tissue.
  • The crease of the penis: the penis can curve upwards, downwards or to the left or to the right. In some cases, the stiff penis may narrow or have an hourglass appearance, with a tight, narrow band around the affected area.
  • Erection problems: Peyronie’s disease can lead to problems with getting or maintaining an erection.
  • Shortening of the penis: the penis may be shorter due to Peyronie’s disease.
  • Pain and discomfort: you may experience pain in the penis (penis pain ), with or without an erection.


Mild to severe

Cases of Peyronie’s disease range from mild to severe. Symptoms can develop slowly or develop suddenly. The curvature in Peyronie’s disease can gradually worsen. At one point it stabilizes in most men. In severe cases, pain arises in sexual intercourse, and the curvature complicates sexual intercourse or even makes it impossible. The emotional wellbeing of the patient can be seriously disrupted by this condition and seriously affect his self-esteem. The physical, sexual and emotional problems have repercussions on the relationship.



In most men, the pain during an erection is reduced within one to two years, but the scar tissue and the curvature often persist. Sporadically, it occurs that both the curvature and the pain associated with Peyronie’s disease improve without treatment. However, healing is relatively rare.


In some cases, erectile dysfunction occurs (impotence). It also happens that a man with Peyronie’s disease is unable to have sexual intercourse. Anxiety or stress about sexual performance or shame about the appearance of your penis also occur. The sexual relationship with your partner may suffer. Another possible complication is the difficulty in conceiving a child because sexual intercourse is difficult or impossible.