Penis Extender Claims and Peyronie’s Disease

Correcting the curved penis of Peyronie’s disease

Many men with Peyronie’s disease are interested in recent advertising promotions claiming that penis extender devices can correct penile curvature. Any man who faces penis surgery because of Peyronies wants to believe this is true. For this reason the penis extender companies are offering hope to these men at a time when they are most vulnerable.
Penis extender is an advertising term used for a mechanical device that was originally designed and intended to increase the length and girth of the penis by applying prolonged traction to the organ. This is supposed to be accomplished by wearing a plastic and metal device on the penis designed to firmly hold onto the head of the penis while using variable length metal rods to apply a traction force away from the body by pushing against the pubic bone of the pelvis. There is no proof that the extender can cause the penis to become larger and remain that way for more than a few weeks; any change these devices make are rather temporary.

In early 2011 there are about 12 companies that manufacture penis extenders, with five of these companies that seem to dominate the market in terms of very aggressive internet marketing. Of the many penis extender devices I have personally evaluated, all are of the same basic design and engineering concept, with only small differences in regard to materials used and design features to hold the head or shaft of the penis while traction forces are applied. The only great difference amongst this group appears to be in the advertising and promotional claims that they dare to make about the effectiveness of their products. Prices range from $250 to $430 for the most common models.

Problems with penis extenders

None of these penis extender companies inform their potential customers in their advertisements that best results are achieved when the device is worn for eight hours a day for six months or longer. That particular information is revealed only in the literature that comes with the penis extenders after the purchase is made.
Also, none of these penis extender companies reveal that these penis extenders weigh on average just a little over a pound. This is why men who have tried to use the penis extender products as instructed report to me that over a short period of time they experienced a rather rapid break down of the tender penile skin (tissue erosion from compression and rubbing that causes blisters, bruises, (and in some cases Peyronie’s disease). For this reason a few of the more careful companies (perhaps those who are already been sued for damages) include in the pe

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nis extender kit special bandages, extra lamb’s wool padding, antibiotic ointments and instructions to follow when – not if – tissue erosion and bleeding develop after using the penis extender.

All penis extender manufacturers claim that in addition to making the penis larger, their products can be used to treat Peyronie’s disease. However, none of these companies explain how this is accomplished. The closest explanation offered by one company is that “The device produces results by forcing tissues of the penis to expand rather than retract.” This is, of course, nonsense since the problem of Peyronie’s disease is not the tissue has retracted. When something retracts it pulls back, withdraws or pulls in. That is not what happens in Peyronie’s disease. The problem of Peyronie’s disease is that excessive collagen material is deposited at the a site of suspected penile injury and develops into a mass of scar-like tissue, which in turn prevents expansion of the penile tissue during erection as well as prevents full closure of the penile veins during erection causing reduced ability to achieve a fully hard erection.
In order to accept the explanation of the penis extender manufacturers you will have to accept the idea that Peyronie’s disease is simply a problem of the penile tissue contracting for some reason they do not explain. They propose that the answer to this problem is to pull on the retracted or contracted tissue, like pulling for a while on a rubber band. This simplistic description and answer to the problem of Peyronie’s disease does not address the well known science surrounding Peyronie’s disease. Anyone who has taken the time to understand his problem will know this does not make sense. This is like saying that if a person is short they can be made taller by using traction that will cause the tissue to “expand rather than retract.”

Penis extender not Peyronie's treatment

The best things about the penis extender devices for Peyronie’s treatment are that they must be easy to sell because:
1. Any man would like to believe that the answer to his Peyronie’s problem will also cause his penis to be bigger.
2. The simple idea that fixing a curved penis is as easy as straightening a bent paper clip must appeal to anyone who is frustrated by the complexity of Peyronies disease.
It should be pointed out that none of the makers of the penis extenders offers a good explanation how this process is supposed to reverse the penile curvature of PD. It is my belief that they have not done so because there is none.

Broken Penis and Peyronie’s Disease

Penile fracture can lead to Peyronies

The most frequently found explanation of Peyronie’s disease usually refers to it as an exaggerated healing of penile trauma. This injury can be so small as to be unnoticed or so severe as to be considered a broken penis or a penile fracture.

A fractured penis is also known as a broken penis syndrome.  It is a severe and painful form of bending injury that occurs to the erect penis typically during intercourse when a thin tissue membrane of the penis called the tunica albuginea becomes ruptured or torn crosswise, not along the length of the penis.  When a penile fracture occurs it is often accompanied by a popping or cracking sound that can be heard by the sexual partner, and results in immediate flaccidity. Because of the severe pain in the penis, bruising, and swelling, this is considered a medical emergency that often results in surgical repair. When the fractured penis is severe, the urinary tube within the penis that drains urine from the bladder (urethra) can be damaged, leading to blood in the urine.

All couples who use the woman-on-top intercourse position have experienced times when the woman will thrust back and lift off  the penis only to come back down again, forcefully pushing and bending the penis against her pelvic bone , groin or vulva region.  And all men have had the experience of missing the point of penetration at the opening of the vagina during intercourse.  These two are the most common way to cause a penile fracture.

Approximately 1,000 cases of broken penises are reported each year in the U.S.  Men in their 20s and 30s are a higher risk because they are more inclined to engage in vigorous or acrobatic sexual activity that result in a broken penis.   Men in their 50s and 60s are less inclined not only because of reduced frequency and vigor of sexual activity, but because their erections tend to be less rigid.

It is not necessary to stop sexual activity if you have Peyronie’s disease, only that you become more careful and conservative about a few aspects of your sexual repertoire.  Especially for a man who already has a penile problem, it is most wise to avoid additional injury of another fractured penis so that the Peyronie’s sex problem is not made worse.   Peyronie’s Disease Institute suggests the following safety steps to avoid reinjury and possible worsening of an existing case of Peyronies:

  1. The man should not allow himself to be so filled with sexual excitement and abandon that the throws caution to the wind during intercourse.   He must be the calm and sensible one who monitors and evaluates the strength and control of thrusting and selection of sex positions so as to avoid those that put him at risk for additional injury.
  2. The man should be the one who does primary thrusting in intercourse  to reduce the chance of  additional penile trauma.
  3. Use of additional sexual lubrication during  sexual intercourse.  Even if his sexual partner produces adequate natural lubrication, apply additional sexual lubrication to avoid dryness during intercourse that can lead to additional injury while thrusting.

After the broken penis has healed begin a treatment plan using Alternative Medicine measures found on the PDI website.  

Prostate Screening Tests and Peyronie’s Disease


Older men undergoing unnecessary PSA screening

A new study from the University of Chicago reports on the use of PSA-based prostate cancer screening in the United States, concluding that many elderly men could be receiving excessive and unnecessary prostate cancer screening tests.  This same study also determines that while elderly men are over-tested for prostate cancer, while a significant percent of men in the 50-60 age group are not being tested enough for prostate cancer.

The prostate specific antigen (PSA) test is used to help detect prostate cancer or other prostate abnormalities.

These same University of Chicago researchers report that data from two separate surveys conducted in 2000 and 2005 found that slightly less than half of men in their seventies received PSA screening tests within the prior year, a number almost double the PSA screening rate of men in their early fifties.  Consistent with this trend, men who are 85 years and older were given PSA screening tests about as often as men in the 50-60 age group.

Senior author of this study, Scott Eggener, MD, said, “Our findings show a high rate of elderly and sometimes ill men being inappropriately screened for prostate cancer. We’re concerned these screenings may prompt cancer treatment among elderly men who ultimately have a very low likelihood of benefiting the patient and paradoxically can cause more harm than good. We were also surprised to find that nearly three-quarters of men in their fifties were not screened within the past year."  In the active study group were 2,623 men age 70 years and older and almost 12,000 men between the ages of 40 and 69 served as the control group. .

Published online in the Journal of Clinical Oncology (March 28, 2011), Dr. Eggener and his colleagues evaluated test  results in 2000 and 2005 of health surveys from randomly selected households, as part of the National Health Interview Survey initiative.  Reviewing this survey data, Dr. Eggener was able to calculate the estimated 5-year life expectancy of each participant over age 40 who had received a PSA test.

The total PSA screening rate for all men (40 years and older) within the past year was 23.7% in 2000 and 26% in 2005. A breakdown of this total number into meaningful groups shows that the PSA screening rate was lowest in the 40 to 44 age group (7.5%), the PSA screening rate increased to 24% in men ages 50 to 54 years.  The PSA screening rate increased again with a peak rate of 45.5% for men  s 70 to 74 years of age. Screening rates then declined with age, with 24.6% of men age 85 years or older reporting being screened.

The study concludes with the suggestion that treating physicians should be more selective in recommending PSA cancer screening tests for elderly male patients who are less likely to receive benefit from the results of that testing.  Instead, they recommend that more rigorous prostate and PSA screening tests should be done routinely for those men who are in the younger and healthier 40-50 age groups, since it is they who will more likely benefit from early prostate cancer diagnosis.

How does this relate to Peyronie’s disease?  Well, it shows that as your medical doctor is recommending tests and procedures for you, he is also calculating values and factors that might  not be related to your direct benefit.  This is the aspect of modern government-managed and insurance company-dictated health care that is warned about.   Medical decisions are made for you and about you that are based on what is good for others.  Keep this in mind when health care options are being given to you.

Peyronie’s Disease Treatment and Vitamin E



Vitamin E not researched well for Peyronie's treatment

Because of its early success in treating Peyronie’s disease, vitamin E is the most commonly prescribed form of non-drug Peyronies treatment.  With this history of positive results based on the really rather limited medical research that has been given to vitamin E, not much additional research has been done after that point.

To make this simple point even more clear, even thought the early research studies that looked at the effectiveness of vitamin E and other nutrition products for treatment of Peyronie’s disease were good, almost no additional research has been done in this area of treatment.  This sad fact should be of interest to anyone with Peyronie’s disease.

One is the few complaints about the effects of vitamin E and Peyronie’s treatment that is always used to justify not using this therapy is that there has not been enough research to prove it actually works.

Have you ever noticed that every time you read about vitamin E treatment for Peyronie’s disease the article will say something like, “Early testing of Peyronie’s disease treatment with vitamin E showed initial promise and success.  However, more testing needs to be done.”   We have all read that.  t must ask you, “Why hasn’t that additional testing been done with vitamin E for PD?”

Just as vitamin E started to show promise as a Peyronies treatment, research in this area stopped.  What could have been the reason?  Vitamin E is a known essential human nutrient, it is relatively inexpensive to extract from food sources, and has myriad health benefits.  Why would medical science and the large drug companies not be interested in doing the needed research to prove it as a valid Peyronie’s treatment? It is not necessary to ponder this question too long before the answer, profit, becomes apparent.

Vitamin E is a valid Peyronies therapy

It sometimes appears that the drug industry wants to protect its own health more than it wants to protect the health of the public.

Vitamin E does not present a high profit to the large drug companies because it cannot be held as a monopoly; anyone and everyone can manufacture and sell it.  It is currently manufactured by so many small companies around the world, that the competition keeps the price relatively low for it.  Without adequate profit, these large drug companies lack motivation to sell it even though it might be of value to sick people.

By not researching vitamin E the drug industry has locked it out of serious consideration as a potential Peyronies treatment.  And so, the common refrain continues that your doctor will not – and actually according to standard medical ethics cannot – strongly promote the use of vitamin E for treatment of Peyronie’s disease because it has not been proven through research to work as a treatment.

Do not be afraid of using vitamin E as a general supplement or as a specific product as a therapy for Peyronie’s disease.   The risk and danger have been greatly exaggerated in the literature, and are generally unfounded.  Please read this blog post that explains more about the safety of vitamin E.

Peyronie’s Disease Institute has used vitamin E with great success since 2002 and continues to do so without reservation.   

Who is a Peyronie’s Disease Expert?

The problem of the Peyronies specialist

The problem for a man with Peyronie’s disease is much greater than his physical condition. If it were not bad enough that there is no known cause and no known cure for Peyronies disease and that most medical doctors prefer to rush out of the room rather than explain this problem, there is another layer of distress to deal with when you have PD.

It appears that even within the medical profession there is disagreement about who should provide Peyronie’s disease treatment. While reviewing an internet Peyronies forum recently I discovered an interesting Q/A.  This brief exchange demonstrates just how great the difficulty is for any man who has a curved penis to know where to go for help.  The doctor’s name has been omitted only because it is actually not important to this discussion. Suffice it to say that this doctor is considered a Peyronies specialist and practices in one of the largest US cities. His answer says a lot about the low knowledge and poor experience level of the average general practitioner and urologist with Peyronie’s disease.  It is both amazing and sad to think he believes so few doctors are capable of providing good care for this problem.

I have been diagnosed with PD by a urologist 3 months ago. I am 59. He has prescribed 800 IU of Vitamin E daily & also Infam-away (a hi-potency Enzyme formula) capsules 6 daily on a empty stomach. Nothing has helped after taking these medicines for 3 months. Erections are very painful and curvature has developed to the left. An indentation about 1″ below the glans has also developed. He has basically told me that there is nothing else he can do. My primary care physician admits that this is a disease that not much is known as to the whys and what will work to help the pain and hopefully stop or reverse the curvature which at present is 30-40%. I was given a pain killer to help especially if erections get too painful. Are there any over-the-counter or on the internet medicines that may help?

Dr. XXXXX Answers: There are no known over-the-counter products of benefit in Peyronie’s disease. Most urologists know little about this condition and are generally not completely up-to-date on treatments and we suggest that you seek out a Peyronie’s disease expert for evaluation and a discussion of treatments.

From his response you could almost hear the professional rivalry and his impatience with his medical colleagues who he thinks do not know as much as he thinks he knows.  You will also notice he did not offer any helpful advice to this man who asked the question. If you should not go to a urologist for a problem with your penis, then to whom should you go for care?  If “most” urologists do now know enough about PD to be current with care, how is the average patient to know who is safe to go for care?  No urologist has on his/her business card, “I am a urologist but it do not know how to treat PD.”

Many of the people who write to me at the PDI website live in small states and areas of low population, with poor access to a urologist and have no idea who a “Peyronie’s specialist” might be.  This is why so many men who contact me after going through the medical route of Peyronies treatment are totally confused, frustrated and angry about their medical care. While I do not agree with the opinion of this Peyronie’s specialist, “[t]here are no known over-the-counter products of benefit in Peyronie’s disease,” I can only assume he is referring to the absence of studies in medical journals about non-drug treatment of PD and not his own private investigation or experience.  This tends to be true in this country because our medical doctors are not comfortable or experienced doing independent thinking. They only repeat what the drug companies and the multi-million dollar drug research have told them is the truth. This truth of course changes when that same multi-million dollar drug research is found to be false, full of bad research, or riddled with corrupt findings.  When a new “wonder drug” is suddenly pulled from the market after patients are made worse or die from the prescribed drugs they are given by doctors, the doctors are told to think and prescribe in a different way.  They are given new truths from the drug companies and new drugs. In Europe it is different.  This is why so many new ideas and innovative discoveries come from Europe.

In my own opinion, it is best to attempt to promote your own spontaneous recovery from Peyronie’s disease by doing all that you can to increase your body’s ability to heal and repair the curved penis plagues you.