Congenital Penile Curvature
Are all curves the same?
Penile curvatures are very common. The penis can bend upward, downward or to the sides. In most occasions, the curvature is mild and does not cause any problems. However, some men have more complex curves that make them more self-conscious. Most often, a penile curvature is due to normal differences in penis anatomy, but sometimes scar tissue or another problem causes a bent penis and painful erections.
Not all curves are the same…
There are 2 groups of men with curvatures: those who were born with it (congenital penile curvature) and those who were not (Peyronie’s disease).
Men who develop or acquire a curve or deformity in their penis that was not previously present have a condition known as Peyronie’s disease. Peyronie’s disease is an acquired condition in which the penis develops scar tissue, known as a plaque, that causes different changes in the penis. These changes include pain, penile curvature, penile shortening, and erectile dysfunction.
But… I’ve always had a curve… do I need to get it treated?
Many men come to my office because they either saw a TV commercial about Peyronie’s or their new partner mentioned that his penis is a “bit more curved than their previous sexual partner”. These men often do not have Peyronie’s disease. Men who’ve always had a curve in their penis have Congenital penile curvature. This means you were born with a curve.
Other than a different cosmetic look, congenital curvatures generally do not cause problems. Unlike Peyronie’s, men with congenital curves do NOT have painful erections, feel a palpable plaque or develop vascular erectile dysfunction. These men usually only complain of one of two things:
- They wish they had a more “cosmetically appealing” penis.
- The curvature impedes penetration or causes discomfort to their partners during penetrative intercourse.
Can something be done to correct my bent penis?
Peyronie’s disease and Congenital Penile Curvatures are different conditions. Therefore, these are treated differently. (For details on how to treat Peyronie’s disease, click here).
In general, Congenital curves do not involve an inflammatory process with scar formation. Xiaflex or oral medications will not work. The main way to correct congenital curvatures is with a an outpatient procedure called Penile Plication (Watch a Video Here). Penile plication places sutures on the contralateral side of the curve. This will help ‘balance’ the erection and keep the penis straight.
In Conclusion… Who should I talk to?
I recommend most patients to be evaluated by a specialist familiarized with Peyronie’s Disease and penile curvatures (either a sexual medicine urology specialist or a reconstructive urologist). Remember… not all curvatures are the same. I cannot stress this enough. Many men have curvatures that ARE NOT Peyronie’s disease. A specialist familiarized with these conditions will be able to differentiate between these conditions discuss the best management option for you. I am a men’s sexual medicine specialist. I would be honored to help you. Come visit us!
This article was authored by Dr. Jonathan Clavell. Dr. Clavell is an urologist who specializes in men’s health including erectile dysfunction, low testosterone, Peyronie’s Disease and BPH.