Peyronie’s Disease is a penis problem caused by scar tissue, called plaque, that forms inside the penis. It can result in a bent, rather than straight, erect penis. Most men with Peyronie’s disease can still have sex. But for some, it can be painful and cause erectile dysfunction. Depending on the symptoms, patients may opt for observation, medical or surgical treatments.

What Causes Peyronie’s Disease?

Doctors don’t know exactly why Peyronie’s disease happens. Many researchers believe the fibrous plaque can start after trauma (hitting or bending) that causes bleeding inside the penis. You might not notice the injury or trauma.

Other cases, which develop over time, may be linked to genes. In some men, injury and genes could both be involved.

Some medications list Peyronie’s disease as a possible side effect, although there is no proof that these drugs cause the condition.

Who Gets Peyronie’s Disease?

Although it mostly happens in middle-aged men, younger and older men can get it. It becomes more common as a man gets older, but it’s not a normal part of aging.

What Are the Symptoms of Peyronie’s Disease?

Symptoms may develop slowly or appear overnight. When the penis is soft, you may not see a problem. But in severe cases, the hardened plaque hampers flexibility, causing pain and forcing the penis to bend or arch when erect.

In most cases, the pain eases over time, but the bend in the penis can worsen.

Some men with the condition develop scar tissue elsewhere in the body, such as on the hand or foot. Men with Dupuytren’s contractures – scarring in the hand that affects fingers – seem to be more likely to get Peyronie’s.

How Do Doctors Diagnose Peyronie’s Disease?

Tell your doctor about anything, such as an injury, that happened before the symptoms started.

During an esamination, your doctor will feel the hardened tissue caused by the disease. It’s not always necessary, but if the penis has to be erect for the exam, the doctor will inject a medicine to make that happen.

There’s a chance you may need to get an X-ray or ultrasound of the penis.

It’s rare, but in some cases where the doctor’s exam does not confirm Peyronie’s disease, or if the condition develops rapidly, your doctor may do a biopsy. That involves removing a little bit of tissue from the affected area for lab tests.

Can Peyronie’s Disease be treated?

Yes, in most cases. Not all the treatment options are available in South Africa, but the MSH doctors can offer medical treatment as well as injectable treatment in the form of Verapamil or Platelet Rich Plasma PRP. In some cases referral for surgical correction is needed.

It is of utmost importance that you have it treated as soon as possible to ensure the best outcome.

The above information on Peyronie’s Disease has been adapted from WebMD.

Treatment for Peyronie’s Disease is provided by our team members in Johannesburg and Pretoria:


Dr Elna Rudolph

Dr Elna Rudolph

Medical Doctor, Sexologist and Clinical Head of My Sexual Health


Dr Jireh Serfontein

Dr Jireh Serfontein

Medical Doctor and Sexologist

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