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What Is a Penile Curvature?

Penile curvature can cause pain during an erection.
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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 27 September 2014
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Penile curvature, also called Peyronie's disease, is a condition in which a man’s erect penis curves abnormally. Among the symptoms of penile curvature are pain during an erection and functional problems. Scientists are not 100-percent sure of what causes the condition, but trauma to the penis or some medical conditions may play a role. In some cases, a person may even be born with a penis that curves. Fortunately, there are both medical and surgical treatments that may prove helpful for a man who has curvature of the penis.

When a man has penile curvature, he may experience a range of symptoms. The most common symptom of this condition is a curve in the erect penis that can be seen with the naked eye. This condition may also cause the penis to become visibly narrower when it’s in its erect state. Additionally, a man with this condition usually has areas of hard, thickened tissue within his penis. While not a symptom for the man who has penile curvature, this condition may also cause the man’s partner to experience pain during sexual intercourse.

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Scar tissue forms under the penile skin when a man has curvature of the penis, possibly because of some type of trauma. The scar tissue typical of this condition build ups, causes the penis to bend, and often makes intercourse painful. Sometimes the curvature appears to be related to penile trauma, but this is not always the cases. In fact, some men are born with curvature of the penis, which is called hypospadias, rather than Peyronie's disease.

A condition called Dupuytren’s contracture is sometimes associated with penile curvature. This condition is marked by a thickening on a person’s palm that makes the last two fingers on his hand bend in the direction of his palm. A small percentage of the men with this condition are also diagnosed with penile curvature.

There are medications that may be used in the treatment of penile curvature. For example, a doctor may inject a man’s penis with a corticosteroid, which is steroid hormone, in an effort to treat it. Sometimes high blood pressure medication, taken by mouth or via an injection, may help; doctors may even use shock wave or radiation therapy to treat it in some cases. When medical treatments fail, a man may opt for surgery. There is a chance, however, that this type of surgery could render a penile curvature patient impotent.

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