Symptoms of Peyronie’s Disease

Peyronie’s disease is a curvature of the penis caused by the formation of scar tissue, or plaque, inside the penis. It can cause a painful bend in the penis when erect. Men with Peyronie’s disease may also experience erectile dysfunction, or ED, which can affect their sexual performance and lead to stress and anxiety surrounding intimacy.


It may take a while to recognize Peyronie’s disease when the signs and symptoms occur gradually over time. Sometimes, though, the curvature and pain of Peyronie’s disease can develop suddenly, making its appearance more obvious.

Men should consult their urologist if they suspect Peyronie’s disease, or if they develop any of these common signs and symptoms:

  • Significant Curvature to the Penis - You may notice a significant bend in the penis with an erection. The penis may be curved upward, downward, or bent to a particular side. Sometimes plaque develops on both the underside and topside of the shaft, resulting in narrow indentations around the penis. It may cause the penis to appear deformed and shaped like an hourglass.

  • Shortening of the Penis - This disease causes the penis to lose both width and length.

  • Pain - Men with Peyronie’s disease may still have sexual intercourse, but it may be difficult and painful. Pain felt during erection may improve in a year or two, but the scar tissue and curvature will most likely remain if not treated. The pain associated with Peyronie’s disease may occur with or without an erection.

  • Formation of Scar Tissue - Scar tissue can form due to repeated injury to the penis (for example, due to an accident, strenuous sexual intercourse, or athletic activity). During recovery, damaged soft tissue heal in a disorganized manner, causing plaque to form. Lumps or bands of hard tissue may be noticeable under the skin of the penis and may appear in different areas of the shaft.

  • Erectile Dysfunction - A patient with ED will have difficulty achieving and maintaining an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse. For men with Peyronie’s disease, damaged tissue does not stretch during an erection, causing pain and restricting erection.

Stages and Treatment

There are two stages of Peyronie’s disease – the initial acute injury, followed by the chronic condition. The acute stage can last anywhere from 6-18 months. During this phase, plaque develops in the penis, and the curvature becomes more prominent and painful. At the chronic stage, the plaque stops forming, and the bend in the penis does not appear to significantly grow.

This condition is not contagious and cannot be transmitted via sexual intercourse. In time, Peyronie’s disease may go away on its own. Unfortunately, however, signs and symptoms may also worsen. The disease is treatable with conservative as well as surgical approaches.

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