Penis structure contains two columns of erectile tissue known as corpus cavernosum (responsible for the erection) and a channel (urethra) which is used to dismiss urine. During the erection this erectile tissue fills up with blood, increasing the size and the stiffness of the penis. The two of the corpus cavernosum are surrounded by an elastic tissue known as Tunica albuginea.
There are two types of curvature that can be observed on penis:
- Peyronie's disease (it can be detected at any age);
- Congenital penile curvature (mostly it can be detected in youth).
The curvature of penis can be the source of great anxiety, many doctors and urologists are not familiar with this condition and do not know how to treat it, so it is very important to a fins a professional with experience on treating this disease.
Peyronie's disease is an abnormal curvature on the penis which takes place during the erection. On this condition, a fibrous scar tissue is developed under the skin of the penis. The official cause for this condition is still unknown, although there are some approaches to possible causes. The area where the scar takes place (fibrosis) looses elasticity so it cannot be extended when corpus cavernosum is filled with blood, and therefore the penis bends toward the direction of the scar. At the beginning this curvature is a little bit painful, and can become a difficulty during sexual intercourse. This plaque of fibrosis is an entirely benign scar tissue although it can be painful and uncomfortable.
A penile fracture (which can take place during sexual intercourse) can be a trigger for Peyronie's disease. Patients that have received a treatment with surgery or radiation for this condition are more susceptible of suffering prostate cancer. Peyronie's disease is not very common, it can be found among men who have passed the age of forties.
Some clinical studies also relate Peyronie's disease with immune system disorders. Nevertheless it seems to be that this condition is not related with sexually transmitted diseases or cancer. Most of men with this condition go to the doctor very concerned for the fact of having a bump below the penis, which is the plaque of fibrosis, thinking on the probability of cancer.
The first signs that will confirm this disease and discard some others are:
- A curvature on the penis during the erection;
- Narrowing of the penis;
- Problems during penetration or pain during sexual intercourse;
- Shortening of the penis.
A physician can diagnose the curvature of the penis through a physical exam, the plaques of fibrosis are easy to detect in the presence or in the absence of an erection. The doctor can use injectable drugs to trigger an erection or you can take pictures of your penis erect in order to provide more information for a complete diagnostic.
Peyronie's disease is very difficult to heal, for many reasons patients have difficulty on penetration during sexual intercourse, and on severe cases vaginal penetration is not possible.