Peyronie’s disease and women

Peyronie's disease affects more than one person at a time

Any woman who lives with a man who has Peyronie’s disease knows that her life is affected – drastically and to the core.

Shortly after starting Peyronie’s Disease Institute in 2002 I noticed an interesting phenomenon that was very much a surprise to me.  Initially, I never imagined I would deal with women in relation to any direct aspect of Peyronie's disease, even though I knew that women are greatly and adversely affected by it in so many ways.  Knowing how my own wife had to struggle with my initial bad behavior and personal weakness that was brought to the surface by Peyronies, I knew full well how a woman’s life could be stressed deeply in this way.  But, yet, I initially thought that women would stay in the background in regard to designing a Peyronie's treatment plan and dealing with the many questions that come up during actual therapy.  I thought it would be rare that I would come into contact with these ladies.  How wrong I was.

Consistently, around 5-15% of orders placed for various Peyronie’s treatment products are placed by a woman.  As I began to offer online answers to Peyronies questions, I soon found that about 5-10% of first-time emails asking basic questions or ordering information was being sent by women. This is the way it has started, and continues to today.

Probably the best you can do is arrange for a consultation, woman-to-woman with the Peyronies nurse.

It is my first impression that there were a few possible reasons for the large percent of women who communicate with me about a totally male health problem:

  1. The man with Peyronie’s disease does not have access to, or does not know how to operate, a computer.  Fair enough, he is computer illiterate and she helps him out because he cannot do it.  That makes sense.
  2. The man is on the road so often, as with a truck driver, or his work is so intense, demanding of his time or so fatiguing that she again simply helps him out by communicating instead of him.  That is easily understood.
  3. The woman’s work involves computers and she is far more comfortable than him, so she does it because she is just better at it. Perhaps her schedule is far more flexible also, in her career, so once again she pitches in and this also is easy to understand her involvement is one of simple convenience and ease.

While all of these are possible reasons, and they do come up, I have come to learn these reasons and explanations are actually the exception.  In fact, they are the rare exception.   While speaking to or emailing with these women who deal indirectly with Peyronie’s disease I have learned these women are only taking over because the man with the problem is so devastated by his bent penis, by his penis that has become smaller, or because of  Peyronie’s disease impotence that he refuses to engage in anything related to his Peyronie's problem.  He often will not talk to her about his problem, and will refuse to discuss starting or following a Peyronies treatment plan.

So deep and intense is his withdrawal from a problem he feels so shamed and humiliated, that he is often is not even interested in learning how to help himself.  Thus, it is his mate who will step forward to help in whatever way she can.  This, of course, exposes her to tirades of anger, bitter refusals, endless arguments and frequent rejections that circle around his idea that she does not leave him alone, that she is bothering him, that she does not understand, that she doesn’t know what she is doing, and endless tactics of self-sabotage and self-hatred.   I hear these things often, and I must admit I was guilty of many of these tactics myself when I was at the depth of my despair with my Peyronies.

Peyronie’s Disease Treatment Forum

Why do I now mention all this on the woman’s side of the Peyronie’s Disease Treatment Forum?   All of this background information and insight is mentioned here, so that any woman reading this will know she is not alone.  She will know she is not genuinely as much at fault as he claims she is.  That she will feel empowered to know she is doing what any good person does when the person she loves is in trouble; she pitches in, she helps in whatever way she can, and she forgives him for being a jerk because she understands he is greatly disturbed by the trouble he is in.  She stands by him as best she can, because it is the right thing to do, because her love for him makes her strong to do more than she thought she could do.  And, having read this, perhaps she will feel better and her burden will be a little lighter.

There is much more that can be said about this complex and destructive way that Peyronie’s disease reduces his interest in intimacy.  This takes up a large part of the second PD book that I wrote, “Peyronie’s Disease & Sex.”

Please accept my invitation to comment on this post, and to ask questions about the way that Peyronie’s disease influences men in strange and powerful ways that are often not pleasant.  I stand ready to assist any woman who lives with Peyronie’s disease.

Ladies Peyronies Forum – Women only!

Peyronie's Disease Forum for Women Serves Useful Purpose

Women need a Peyronie's forum for their special needs and issues.

While no one can doubt that the man who has Peyronies suffers in many ways with this problem, the women who love and live with these men suffer greatly in their own way.  Every woman touched by Peyronie's disease suffers not less because hers' is an indirect involvement, but perhaps more because of the acute frustration and helplessness of being unable to do anything to comfort her man during his times of distress.

Many of the emails I receive each day come from the women who are just as confused, frustrated, and angry about all the same issues that each man experiences in trying to deal with PD – with a few added issues.

Just as the man who first learns he has Peyronies, the woman must also attempt to grasp the answers to the basic questions that commonly arise at this time:

  1. This condition I have never heard of before – Peyronie’s disease – just what is it, and what do we do to get rid of it?
  2. Is it life threatening?
  3. What do you mean, there is no known cause or Peyronies cure?
  4. In the early part of the 21st century, when even cancers are being cured, how is it possible that science has no help for this problem?
  5. Could it be that we have talked to a doctor who is lazy or incompetent: should we talk to someone else?
  6. Would we get better answers, and help, if we spent more money and went to a higher level specialist?
  7. How could this problem affect up to 9% of the male population, but I have never heard of it before?
  8. What do you mean, you do not know if it is going to get better or worse?

On and on the questions pour out, trying to make sense of a terrible situation.  But there are other questions that a woman must naturally ask in the privacy of her own self:

  1. I am sorry that he got injured during intercourse.  He knows I did not do it on purpose.  I feel so guilty when I see him suffering.  Is he holding all this against me?
  2. What about my sexual needs; what am I going to do now?
  3. I didn’t do anything wrong, why am I suffering too?
  4. Why is he being so quiet and secretive about this; why won’t he talk to me about this problem?  Doesn’t he realize It is affecting me, too?
  5. What is going on with him?  He is getting so moody and irritable that I am afraid to talk to him sometimes.
  6. I feel like there is a brick wall around him, and he is a hundred miles away.  Why won’t he talk to me?

Of course, there are all the sexual problems and sexual discussions that are so unique between couples.  These too, are a part of the problems associated with Peyronie’s disease treatment– sometimes minor and manageable, and sometimes so major that a couple can not sustain themselves together.  In these cases where I counsel couples, I find that most all of the time each couple has a problem communicating on a much deeper level necessary to truly understand each other to the degree needed in this time of special need.

Throughout all this time, during discussion and lack of discussion, the woman suffers in her own unique way.  There are no easy answers to any of this, but it is necessary that a woman be able to communicate with someone, express her fears and her needs, and learn she is not alone.  This section of the Peyronie’s Disease Treatment forum blog is intended for this purpose.

Please feel free to ask questions, post comments and replies to each other, so you may feel this is a place of understanding and comfort for you.

Peyronie’s Disease and Stressful Emotions Related to Sex

Stressful emotions and Peyronie's disease

Peyronie’s Disease Institute has for many years written about the various emotional issues closely associated with the bent penis disease.

Even though Peyronie’s disease is said by some to occur in 3-9% of all men, surprisingly very little is known regarding the psychological or emotional disruptions to the sexual well-being of those afflicted with this problem. In a 2008 research project, reported in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, 2008;5:2179-2184, Smith JF, Walsh TJ, Conti SL, Turek P, and Lue T, attempted to determine the source of emotional and relationship problems in Peyronie’s disease. In addition, this study attempted to identify risk factors associated with psychosocial difficulties in men with PD.

Of 245 men in this study, the mean age was 54.4 years, ranging from 19.4 years to 75.6 years; of these men 62% were married, and 59% presented within 2 years of disease onset. The overall prevalence of emotional and relationship problems that were attributable to Peyronie’s disease was 81% of the married men, and 54% of the unmarried men. Among those men who reported to experience relationship problems, emotional problems were noted in 93%.Loss of penile length and inability to have intercourse were strongly identified as the cause of a very high percent of emotional problems reported in this study.

Peyronie’s disease has physical and emotional aspects

Studies like the one mentioned above prove what every couple who deals with Peyronie’s disease knows all too well: living with PD is not easy and it puts a lot of stress on any marriage or relationship.

It is obvious to any Peyronie’s disease couple who must daily deal with the reality of this problem, that Peyronie’s disease can quickly and easily become a source of great mental and emotional stress to both partners. Having Peyronie’s disease should not be seen as a reflection of a man’s self-worth, masculinity, or virility. In all cases of Peyronie’s disease in which a loving couple is involved, improved communication skills make a great difference in how the stress is managed and how the couple survives on a daily basis.

If Peyronie’s disease advances it sometimes causes occasional or permanent erectile dysfunction. This inability to achieve an erection strong enough to allow for penetration is often seen as a sign of diminished masculinity by the man, and diminished sexual desire by the woman. It is most important that every man with Peyronie’s disease takes special effort to reassurance his sexual partner that this limit of sexual function is purely physical and not a refection of reduced interest and desire. Conversely, every woman who is involved with a man with Peyronie’s disease should assure him that his physical limit is not a true or valid reflection of her respect, love, or desire for him.

For additional insight into dealing with the complex emotional issues between loving partners, please review “Peyronie’s Disease and Sex” at Peyronie’s Disease and Sex. Since this topic is so large and complex, referring to the more detailed information of this book would be most helpful to couples who are experiencing sex problems as a result of the Peyronie's curved penis.