Peyronie’s Disease and Baby Boomers

Peyronie’s disease: male health problem no one knows about

If you are a member of the baby boomer generation and have never heard of Peyronie’s (pay-row-neez) disease, you are not alone. However, if you are a male baby boomer or married to one, you are in the prime age group to experience a problem you know nothing about. This is so because Peyronies disease primarily affects men between 50 to 65 years of age, although an age range of 18 to 80 years has been reported, with an average age at onset of 53. Few people know about the problem until they need Peyronie’s disease treatment. This is why it is important for all baby boomers to know about, and how to avoid, it because this health problem can easily ruin your life. Peyronie’s disease remains one of the most perplexing and difficult urological diseases to treat; it has been called “the doctor’s nightmare”. Most everything about this condition (cause, progression, symptoms, age distribution, response to treatment) is variable and unique to the man who has it. The great variability of Peyronie’s disease that makes it difficult to study and to understand, also makes it almost impossible to treat like other medical conditions. It is a complex problem that is much more common than most people realize. Estimates suggest that up to eight out of 100 men over the age of 40 have Peyronie’s disease – that is a lot of people worldwide – and still only a small percent of people have ever heard of it. People are reluctant to discuss this problem because it involves the male organ. For this reason it is difficult to develop accurate information and statistics, especially since men are so shy on one hand, yet also inclined to exaggerate.

Definition of Peyronie’s disease

Peyronie’s disease can best be understood as an exaggerated wound healing in response to an injury in which an excessive amount of Peyronie’s scar tissue develops within the man’s shaft. Peyronie’s disease (also known by over 12 different names, among which is “iduratio penis plastica”) is very special disorder of the connective tissue in which fibrous “scars” or “plaques” develop usually after direct injury. This Peyronie’s plaque occurs in a special tissue of the shaft known as the tunica albuginea, a fibrous chamber or envelope that surrounds the two penile cylindrical shaped masses of spongy tissue known as the corpora cavernosa. The corpora cavernosa enlarge during sexual excitement, and the tunica albuginea covering, are designed to expand and elongate. If there is fibrous scar or plaque material in the tunica albuginea, the expansion and elongation cannot develop properly resulting in bending, weakness, shortening and incomplete filling of the organ. Sometimes this distortion is mild (just a few degrees) and does not affect the ability to perform, while at other times the distortion can be extreme (more than 90 degrees) resulting in greatly adverse consequences. A certain degree of normal penile curvature can and does occur in some men. This is a benign and natural condition many men are born with, commonly referred to as congenital curvature; this is not Peyronie’s disease.

Peyronie’s disease signs and symptoms

Four common findings of Peyronie’s disease:

  1. Pain – caused by inflammation and stretching of internal tissues in response to injury and distortion; can be present constantly or only during erection
  2. Nodule or mass formation – variable size lumps or elongated cords can develop in one or multiple areas; sometimes these are difficult or impossible to locate depending on the density, depth and size of the scar formation
  3. Curvature or distortion – caused by presence of one or more nodules or masses of scar tissue in the tunica albuginea, preventing normal expansion during erection; can be minor to gross in appearance
  4. Reduced sexual ability – due to physical distortion that prevents penetration or due to reduced firmness that also prevents penetration (erectile dysfunction).

The onset of Peyronie's disease symptoms can be sudden or slow, but often appears within a month or two after direct injury. The pain of Peyronie’s disease is extremely variable; from hardly noticeable to the kind of pain that prevents sleep. Peyronie’s pain is worse in the beginning, usually gradually improving over time – improvement in a few weeks while others continue for years. For these reasons Peyronie’s pain is not a reliable way to judge the severity or calculate the time for eventual recovery. Even though Peyronie’s disease is a male health problem, women are also affected by it. They are indirectly and adversely affected by the erectile dysfunction, organ curvature and distortion that make intercourse often impossible, as well as loss of organ size that often occurs over time. Additionally, and perhaps even to a greater degree than men, woman bear the brunt of the mood swings, anger, brooding and ill-temper that accompany their partner’s Peyronies problem.

Treatment of Peyronie’s disease

There is no standard or accepted medical Peyronie’s cure since no drug is proven to eliminate the scar within the shaft. The only accepted and available medical treatment is Peyronie's disease surgery. However, given enough time after Peyronie’s surgery the condition will only re-appear in a worsened presentation. This surgical outcome is made bleaker by knowing that even the first Peyronie’s surgery can result in total loss of sensation (anesthesia), increased pain and increased curvature and greater scar formation than before surgery, and in some cases amputation. The Peyronie’s Disease Institute has specialized for the last eight years in the use of Alternative Medicine therapies and techniques that are found to be successful in perhaps 60-80% of cases. None of the therapies are known to result in adverse reactions or side effects. For more information about the Alternative Medicine approach, visit Peyronie’s disease treatment.

Prevention of Peyronie’s disease

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With so many variable aspects of this problem to consider, it is important to know that in addition to everything else, there is no universal agreement about the cause of Peyronies. Some say that injury alone cannot start the problem as we have described above, but that other genetic and metabolic factors must also be present. The Peyronie’s Disease Institute takes the position that this is true. However, if a man never sustains direct injury to the area he is far less likely to develop Peyronies. With age not working in the favor of any baby boomer couple, it is important to evaluate all situations in which direct injury can affect this area – especially sexual activity. This requires that special caution is exercised if a baby boomer gentleman finds he no longer has the usual firmness he previously possessed (erectile dysfunction). Attempting intercourse with a partially flaccid organ can result in sudden buckling or abrupt bending during insertion or the sex act itself. Another way to prevent injury is to modify the techniques used during sexual relations. The single most common injury that starts Peyronie’s disease occurs when the female partner is on top, and she loses hold of him while she thrusts down, jamming and painfully bending him against her upper thigh. To avoid this kind of injury it is important to not use any female-superior position, but to use other techniques in which physical contact is controlled, firm and not likely to disengage during activity. Even if baby boomers have never heard of this terrible condition that robs a couple of one of the greatest pleasures of life, it happens every day. Now that you know about Peyronie’s disease you can do a lot to protect the best years of your life. Dr. Theodore Herazy has practiced Alternative Medicine for over 40 years, and has directed the Peyronie’s Disease Institute for the last eight years. He has written two books about this problem, “Peyronie’s Disease Handbook” and “Peyronie’s Disease and Sex.”


Peyronie’s Plaque or Scar

Peyronie's plaque or scar central issue

The central issue of Peyronie’s disease is the infamous Peyronie’s plaque, also called a scar. Peyronie’s disease typically occurs in men between 40 and 65 years of age, although a range of 16 to 80 years is documented; some experts say it can occur at any age. From personal communication with a particular man, I was told that his own Peyronie’s disease was started after a dog bite to the groin – at the age of 10. Nonetheless, it is most important to recognize that all clinical signs and symptoms of Peyronie’s disease originate from the effects of the plaque upon the internal tissue layers (tunica albuginea) of the penis.

A developing Peyronie’s plaque appears in response to either micro-trauma to the small blood vessels from a single injury of great force, or multiple injuries of a small force. While there is strong evidence that genetic factors and drug factors also influence the start of PD, it is trauma that is usually considered to be the most likely cause of the Peyronies plaque or scar.

A Peyronie’s plaque on the cellular level initially consists of fibrin threads deposited in a massive network throughout an area of injury within the tunica albuginea of the penis. Peyronie’s plaques, or scars, later combine the dense threads of fibrin connective tissue with reduced and fragmented elastic connective tissue fibers, as well as excessive amounts of type III collagen material, which happens to be specially inclined to excessive scar development. In about one-third of chronic cases of Peyronie’s disease, calcification of the plaque can occur over time. For more technical information about the Peyronies disease plaque.

The curvature of the Peyronies penis is due to the fact that scar tissue does not stretch as easily or as fully as healthy normal tissue. The normal tunica albuginea is composed of elastin fibers and collagen, although the site of scar tissue from Peyronie's disease is composed mostly of collagen. This difference in composition of these two tissues is what causes a bent penis to develop during erection.

Eventually as one or more Peyronie’s plaques develop into a mass of hardened tissue in the delicate tunica albuginea, it results in variable pain and penile distortion that most often takes the form of a bend or curve; sexual function is often reduced as a result of direct or indirect affects of Peyronie’s disease, also. The penile curvature of Peyronie's disease is caused by the dense inelastic scar, or plaque, material that shortens the involved side of the tunica albuginea layer that covers the corpora cavernosa of the penis. In approximately one third of patients, the scarring involves either the top or bottom portion of the penis shaft, occasionally both. The lateral sides of the penis can also be affected by Peyronie’s plaque development, if that area experiences injury.

Peyronie's plaque not easy to find sometimes

In some men the Peyronies plaque is easily found on manual examination, in others it is found with difficulty, and in some men no Peyronies plaque is ever located. It can be frustrating to have a wicked penis distortion, and still not be able to locate the Peyronie’s plaque.


To locate the plaque or scar material a light and inquisitive touch is most effective. Do not be heavy-handed, or press down into the deeper layers to find the Peyronie’s plaque material, because it is found just below the surface of the skin. And, oh yes, you will never directly see the plaque or scar, since it is not on the surface of the skin, but below. Make peace with the Peyronie’s plaque and do not hate it, just determine how to assist your body to remove it.

To learn about using Alternative Medicine to increase your ability to heal and repair the Peyronie’s plaque, a good place to start is the PDI website, Peyronie's disease treatment introduction.

What is the Best Peyronie’s Disease Treatment PDI Uses?


Best Peyronie's treatment

Every week, without fail, some poor guy who just learned he has PD will write an email to me asking, “What is the best one of all the Peyronie’s disease therapies PDI uses?” it is a common question, and a good one.

The best way to treat Peyronie's disease is with everything you can throw against it.  It is that kind of problem.

There is no one therapy that is a magic bullet. There are no wonder cures, no nifty little tricks that will get you a larger penis and are also a Peyronie’s disease treatment.

Each person must educate himself about the problem, read about the different Alternative Medicine therapies and what they can do, determine if there are any indicators that one or more might be indicated, and then consider time, effort and cost. Lastly, it is necessary to determine how important it is to you to regain your health. Based on all this, a man should feel comfortable with a plan of action he can follow for several months as he goes about doing all he can to improve his body's ability to heal and repair the injury of PD.

Those men who get good results with their Peyronie’s disease are the tough SOBs who just keep going after it day after day with as much therapy as they can afford to use, until they seem to wear the fibrous tissue down. Slowly they gain on it, with the scar(s) becoming softer and smaller; slowly they come around. Some get fantastic results and some get only moderate results – few who work hard at it do poorly. There usually is progress to be made if you work at it.

So, again, “What is the best Peyronie's treatment?” I would say the answer is that you do all that you can for as long as you can until your body overwhelms the Peyronies plaque tissue. To do less than that is to allow Peyronie’s disease to ruin your life.

Penis Stretching for Peyronie’s Disease Treatment

Penis stretcher in Peyronie’s disease treatment


Here is a post that I recently entered on a Peyronie's disease forum in response to a man’s comment that he wore a particular penis traction device for three months and noticed no change in his condition.   This information about this manual therapy that works well with other Peyronie's disease natural treatments found on the PDI website.


Greetings estep32002,


I have read your post about the penis stretching or penis traction device for Peyronies treatment.


Previously, I have written to this forum in the negative about these penis traction devices. I have done so because of repeated communications I receive from men who have Peyronie's disease, who tell me of their lack of success. They tell me of their inability to wear these penis stretcher devices because of built-in design flaws, and their experience of being injured by these stretchers. All that I learn tells me they do not help Peyronie's disease as the sellers say they do.


Actually, I think you are somewhat unusual in your ability to have worn or used one for three months. Men tell me they cannot stand to put one on for longer than a half hour. They say they get bruised and develop sores after a few minutes or a few hours of use.


One fellow recently told me he wore his expensive model for ten minutes and never put it back on again. Another poor guy admitted to me he has three of them sitting in a drawer, and they all hurt him badly. He thought if bought a better and more expensive one, he would eventually find one that he could use. Three stretchers later, no such luck.


If you could wear such a device long enough to actually stretch the soft tissue of the penis, that does not mean the more rigid and more dense tissue of the Peyronies plaque would also stretch. When I was first introduced to the idea of using a penis traction device to treat Peyronie's disease, it did not make sense to me. I figured that the only thing that could eventually happen – if all went well – would be that the penis would be larger, but it would still exhibit the PD plaque with the related curvature that it causes. Let me explain.


Just as a chain breaks at its weakest link, a penis that has a Peyronies plaque in it will primarily stretch from the normal, healthy tissue. The normal tissue will stretch sooner and farther than the plaque material can respond to the stretching force. Think of it this way: A roll of toilet paper tears at the perforations because that is a point of weakness in the paper. Here's another example: Remember when automobile tires had inner tubes? Remember what would happen if you blew it up with air, if it had a weak spot in the rubber wall of the inner tube? Sure. The weak part would bubble up or swell up because it was weaker than the normal strong part. The weaker part would stretch under pressure before the strong part of the rubber had a chance to stretch.


In Peyronie's disease stretching the weaker tissue is the softer normal tissue, while the stronger tissue is the plaque that contains all the dense fibrous materials. When someone with PD stretches his penis, most or all of the lengthening will come from the more flexible and weaker tissue, not the scar tissue. The scar will not be altered because it cannot participate in the stretch, because the traction force is used up by the normal tissue.


When I ask these traction device makers a few simple questions exactly how their penis enlargement products can help Peyronies, I never receive answers back from them. I ask about the pain and tissue erosion created by the pressure that is applied to hold onto the penis head, and again I get no reply. I think this says a lot


There are safer and more effective ways to stretch the penis, to reduce the PD plaque material, than applying a mechanical appliance that smashes down on the glans to hold the penis. Peyronie's disease is a complicated and stubborn problem to treat. I have been personally involved with PD for about seven years now, since having the happy experience of developing a pretty nasty case of it. In that time I have learned a lot and helped many men along the way. My advice is to be very careful with these mechanical penis stretcher products. TRH


What I did not mention in that Peyronie’s disease forum response is that the safer and more effective way to stretch the penis was developed by me while working with 10 men who I knew who were customers of the Peyronie’s Disease Institute. If you are interested in learning about this gentle and effective way to treat your Peyronies, go to Peyronie's penis stretching.

Peyronie's Plaque and Fibrin

Peyronie's disease plaque and fibrin

The tissue changes that occur in Peyronie’s disease are unique in regard to the Peyronie's plaque that develops.

In a November 2005 abstract account, Kenneth D. Somers and Dawn M. Dawson, of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk, Virginia, and Department of Pathology, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio, reported on their findings concerning the tissue changes that occur in Peyronie’s disease.

To begin this explanation, they remind us that Peyronie's disease is actually a pathological fibrosis, or a situation in which there is excess fibrin tissue located in a small area to the degree that it becomes a problem for the body. In the case of Peyronie’s disease, this fibrosis also is associated with an excessive deposit of collagen in the same area of the fibrin plaque or scar.

Although the cause of Peyronie's disease remains unknown, they tell us, injury or trauma has long been thought to be the inciting event. To determine if this is true, they looked at the cellular structure of the Peyronie’s plaque or scar to get an insight into the cause of this condition.

Materials and methods they used

Small samples of plaque tissue was taken from 33 patients with Peyronie's disease, and control tissue and nodular tissue was taken from the penis of eight patients with Dupuytren's contracture; both groups of tissue were analyzed for collagen staining, as well as fibrin and elastic fiber structure and distribution.

Their results

As a result of this study they found abnormally stained collagen in 97% of the samples, disrupted elastic fibers in 94% and excess fibrin deposition in 95% of the samples. These same findings were not found in the normal scared tunica albuginea of control patients who did not have Peyronie’s disease. The presence of abnormal fibrin accumulation in Peyronies plaque tissue was detected in a special chemical analysis, while this abnormal fibrin was not found in skin tissue samples from the same patients.

Their conclusions

Their conclusions from this study is that the fibrin deposits in Peyronies plaque tissue is consistent with the theory that repeated minor injury or single major injury to the tunica albuginea results in fibrin being deposited in the tissue spaces at the site of trauma to start this condition.

PDI therapy concept

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Peyronie’s Disease Institute has taken the position that it is this excess fibrin deposit within the excess collagen formation that can be safely and easily removed by the use of a battery of systemic enzymes that are specific for foreign fibrin protein in the body. By using natural Peyronie's disease treatment methods to increase the healing response of the immune system against Peyronie’s disease plaque, it is possible to reverse the abnormal tissue found in the tunica albuginea and therefore eliminate the cause of pain and penile curvature associated with Peyronie’s disease.