Peyronie’s Disease is a condition that causes the penis to bend. The bend is created by hard nodules, called plaques, that develop under the skin of the penis on one side, a condition that can be painful.
No one is really sure what causes Peyronie’s Disease to develop. The bend may be quite mild, but it can also be severe, which can interfere with erection and reduce the length of the penis. Intercourse may become difficult or even impossible.
Understandably, the more severe the bend, the more the impact on a man’s self-image. Having Peyronie’s Disease may create anger, shame, depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem. Men with Peyronie’s Disease (sometimes called “PyD”) sometimes will avoid being intimate altogether, which can have a negative effect on his important relationships.
There is no certain cure for Peyronie’s Disease, but there are a variety of treatments, including gels, injections, surgery, and stretching the penis. For men with a less severe bend, using medications such as Viagra(TM) may help with erections.
Men need to grieve the loss of normal function of their penis, and couples may need to grieve the loss of their familiar way of being intimate. Once these experiences can be acknowledged and accepted, then there are a number of things that can be done to help cope with this condition.
- Make sure that you understand the condition, and that you are getting expert help. Not all urologists are educated in sexual medicine. Ask before you make an appointment if the urologist has experience treating sexual problems.
- Find support. There are online communities for both men and their partners that are trying to cope with this disease.
- If you are depressed, get help. Getting help is a positive way to cope and therefore is a sign of strength, not weakness. A psychotherapist can help you manage depression, anxiety, and other negative emotions.
- Find new ways to be intimate with your partner. Intercourse is just one way to enjoy sex. This may require communication, as well as going outside your comfort zone. If making changes is difficult, then seek out an AASECT-certified sex therapist.
No way around it, Peyronie’s Disease is a bummer, but it doesn’t have to run your life. If you can learn to cope and manage this disorder, you can still have a rich and full intimate relationship.