You Ask — We Answer
Dr. Fabio Castiglione Urologist London
What causes the plaques?
Some researchers believe that the plaques associated with Peyronie’s disease result from a minor injury that doesn’t heal properly. More scar tissue than usual forms at the wound site.
Often, the man doesn’t even realize his penis has been injured. But it can happen, particularly during sports or intercourse.
Is there any relationship between penile curvature in men with Peyronie’s disease and ED?
One of the hallmarks of Peyronie’s disease is curvature of the penis. Plaques – areas of hardened scar tissue – cause the penis to lose some of its elasticity. This can make it bend when erect. For some men, the degree of curvature is so severe that they cannot have sex at all.
In July 2014, the International Journal of Impotence Research published a study that examined whether the degree and direction of a man’s curvature was associated with erectile dysfunction. They focused on vasculogenic ED, which involves poor blood flow to the penis.
The researchers found that the extent and direction of curvature did not appear to be related to ED.
“The role of [Peyronie’s disease] in the development of ED remains unclear at the present time,” they said.
More research is still needed. In the meantime, men with Peyronie’s disease and/or ED should take steps to manage other medical conditions that could contribute to ED, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and coronary artery disease (a type of heart disease). These could involve changes in diet, an exercise program, or medication. A man’s doctor can give the best advice on his individual situation.