Peyronie's disease

Originally Published: January 31, 1997
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Dear Alice,

I realize many men have a bent penis. Mine had been slightly bent most of my life, which didn't bother me. About a year and one half ago, however, it took a "turn for the worse." I suspected that I had Peyronies disease. After researching this problem, I went to my urologist. I was not too pleased with his solutions. First, he examined me "soft" and asked some questions. I have since learned that some urologists at least want to see a picture of the erect penis. He said I definitely have Peyronie's disease, but there wasn't much they could do about it. He told me to take vitamin E. He did say there is a doctor in the Chicago area that is doing extensive research on it. Have you heard of him or someone else doing research? I would like to do more about this problem. I have some discomfort in intercourse. I also don't like the looks of it, which I know affects my ability to get an erection. Even though I am 57, I want to continue to have an enjoyable sex life. Help!

Dear Reader,

Peyronie's disease is caused by a build-up of fibrous plaque in the penis, specifically in the fibro-elastic walls of the blood chambers of the penis. This plaque build-up causes the penis to develop a curve, or bend, in it. In some cases, this can be very painful. Some men worry because their penises look different; some worry that they have a fatal disease. Many cases of Peyronie's resolve by themselves in 12 - 18 months. This condition, however, has many treatment options that all have variable success.

Oral medications, such as vitamin E, Potaba (a vitamin B derivative -- 12 grams daily for 6 months), and non-steroidal medications, attempt to decrease the development of fibrous plaques. Surgery is another option, and the type of surgery depends upon whether and to what degree a person's erections are affected by Peyronie's plaque.

Since you have discomfort during intercourse, and have noticed a change in your appearance, Alice recommends that you see another urologist for a second opinion. You can find one by contacting your main physician, or by calling the nearest university hospital. You deserve to know your options so that you can make the best possible choices for the best possible care.

Alice