What is the penile curvature ?
The penis is the male sex organ, and its primary functions include reproduction and urination. As with any other body part, penises can vary in length, girth, and appearance. Some penises are completely straight when erect, while many others curve upward, downward, or to the side.
Penile curvature may be a worry for some people. However, slight curvature is common, and may be desirable and more compatible with some prospective partners.
Penile curvature that does not usually cause discomfort is normal. People typically notice curvature during puberty or early adulthood. However, a curved penis that occurs suddenly, worsens over time, or causes painful erections may require medical attention.
What are the causes of penile curvature ?
A curved penis is normal, and many people have a slight bend or curve in their penis. A person may first notice the curve during puberty, or may recognize it as always being slightly curved.
A significant curve may cause pain or discomfort when a person has an erection, and can occur due to a congenital or acquired condition.
Peyronie’s disease is a condition where fibrous scar tissue, also known as plaques, forms under the skin anywhere on the penis. These hard plaques can be painful and cause the penis to curve during erections.
According to the Urology Care Foundation, Peyronie’s disease affects about 4 out of 100 men between the ages of 40–70 years. Other evidence notes that 0.5%Trusted Source of adult American males receive a diagnosis of Peyronie’s disease.
While the condition can affect males of any ageTrusted Source, research suggests that males in their 60sTrusted Source are most commonly affected. The actual number of cases may be higher, as some people with Peyronie’s disease may feel embarrassed and choose not to get help.
Experts do not know the exact causeTrusted Source of Peyronie’s disease. It is possible that a past penile injury (such as during sex, sports, a fall, or car accident) could cause the condition. An underlying autoimmune disease may also lead to Peyronie’s disease.
Although Peyronie’s disease rarely goes away on its own, it may stabilize 12–18 months after the symptoms first appear.
Congenital penile curvature
Congenital penile curvature, or chordee, is a rare condition that is present from birth. The exact cause is unknown, however, it results from the penis not developing in a typical way in the womb. It may involve elastic tissue, tethering, or scar tissue causing a noticeable curve.
Hypospadias may also occur with congenital penile curvature. Hypospadias is where the tube through which urine leaves the body is not at the tip of the penis.
Autoimmune conditions are when the immune system attacks the body’s own healthy tissues. Peyronie’s disease is associated with autoimmune conditions such as lupus, Behçet’s syndrome, and Sjogren’s syndrome.
A penile fracture happens when an erect penis bends forcefully and suddenly. As the penis has no bones, penile fracture is an uncommon injury caused by rupturing thick tissue inside the penis called the tunica albuginea.
Most penile fractures occur with direct trauma during sexual intercourse. Other causes may include:
- vigorous masturbation
- falling or rolling over onto an erect penis
- injury to the penis from sports, a car accident, or direct physical trauma
- quickly putting on or taking off clothing when the penis is erect
Connective tissue disorders
Connective tissue supports and joins tissues and organs in the body, such as the joints, muscles, and skin. Connective tissue disorders associatedTrusted Source with curved penis include:
- Dupuytren’s contracture
- plantar fasciitis
What are the potential risk factors of developing a curved penis ?
- past surgery or radiation treatment for prostate cancer
- engaging in vigorous sexual activities
- history of connective tissue and autoimmune disorders
- family history of Peyronie’s disease
- older age
- having diabetesand erectile dysfunction
What are the treatment options for penile curvature ?
Treatment for a curved penis based on the severity of the symptoms and underlying conditions. Below are the treatment options for curvature of the penis:
- penile traction therapy
- oral medications, including over-the-counter anti-inflammatoriesto relieve pain
- penile injections
Who is eligible for the Penile Curvature treatment ?
Anyone who suffers from severe pain or erectile dysfunction due to Peyronie's disease is eligible for surgical procedures.
Who is not eligible for Penile Curvature treatment?
There are people, with Peyronie's disease, who respond to non-surgical therapies. They don't need surgeries. Also, people with painless penile curvature should opt for traction therapy and not surgery.
How is penile curvature surgically treated?
Surgery is gold-standard for treatment of curvature in stable Peyronie`s disease.
A urologist may recommend surgery to remove plaque or help straighten the penis during an erection. Surgery may be recommended for men who have Penile curvature when
- Symptoms have not improved
- Erections or intercourse, or both, are painful
- The curve in the penis prevents sexual intercourse
Medical experts recommend you don’t have surgery until your plaque and penis curving stabilize.
Some men may develop complications after surgery, and sometimes surgery does not correct some effects of Penile curvature such as the shortening of the penis.
Grafting. In this surgery, your urologist will remove the plaque and replace it with a patch of tissue that was taken from another part of your body, such as skin or a vein from your leg; grown in a laboratory; or from organ donors.
This procedure may straighten the penis and restore some length that was lost due to Peyronie’s disease.
Some men may experience numbness of the penis and ED after the procedure.
Plication. In plication surgery, your urologist will remove or pinch a piece of the tunica albuginea from the side of the penis opposite the plaque to help straighten the penis.
This procedure is less likely to cause numbness or ED.
Plication cannot restore the length or girth of the penis, and the penis may become shorter.
Device implantation. Penile implants may be considered if a man has both Peyronie’s disease and Erectile Disfunction.
A urologist implants a device into the penis that can cause an erection. The device may help straighten the penis during an erection.
In some cases, the implant alone will straighten the penis adequately. If the implant alone does not straighten the penis, a urologist may combine implantation with one of the other two surgeries.
What are the possible complications and side effects of penile curvature surgery ?
- Failed procedures with the need for reoperation (the operation can fail for several reasons, including new plaque formation or active disease, shrinking of the graft, loosening of the sutures)
- Penile shortening
- Erectile dysfunction
- Risk of recurrent curvature
- Palpable knots and stitches underneath the skin
- Need for circumcisionduring surgery