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Conditions: Peyronies Disease

Diagnosing Peyronie’s Disease

The plaques of PD develop in the tunica albuginea—the fibrous tissue that covers the penile erection chambers, known as the corpus cavernosa. The plaques restrict penile expansion during erection and cause the erect penis to bend in the direction of the plaques, which are usually on the upper (or “dorsal”) surface but may be on the underside (the “ventral” surface) or on either side (“lateral” plaques). Some plaques are so small that they cause only a slight indentation. Others go all the way around the penis, causing the penis to take on an hourglass shape. Generally, the greater the curvature of the penis, the more difficult it is to penetrate during sexual intercourse. Hourglass and indentation deformities can cause sexual difficulty too, sometimes causing the penis to buckle during penetration attempts.

Peyronie’s disease may be associated with pain, especially in the initial stages, and with penile shortening. Many men with PD have erectile dysfunction (ED), which means they find it difficult to have an erection or to maintain one long enough to have satisfactory sex.
Contrary to popular belief, in most cases, PD does not get better without treatment. Spontaneous improvement or resolution has been said to occur in anywhere from 3% to 15% of all cases.

How common is PD and who gets it?

In the late 1990s, PD was thought to be relatively uncommon, with many researchers reporting a prevalence of only 1%. Recent studies, however, suggest that the condition is far more widespread. A 2004 survey of 534 men undergoing urologic examination at prostate cancer screening centers revealed that nearly 9% had signs of PD.
Typically, PD is diagnosed in middle-aged men, though it can occur in men of any age, from adolescence onward. Although it tends to occur most frequently in Caucasians, men of any ethnic group may develop PD.

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