Courtesy of Mirror.co.uk, published June 13, 2016
By Vivienne Aitken
One in 20 men suffers from a painful condition that gives them a bent penis – and many of them are too embarrassed to see a doctor.
At the start of Men’s Health Week, a charity believes it is time to begin talking about Peyronie’s disease.
The condition, which causes the erect penis to bend and shorten, can make erections painful and sex difficult or impossible.
It can also have a severe impact on mental health.
The condition may develop after trauma to the penis, such as bending or hitting. This can cause bleeding and subsequent scar tissue buildup.
Sixty percent of sufferers have had depression after their diagnosis, with a quarter saying it has negatively affected their relationship.
About 24% of sufferers are no longer sexually active, reports the Daily Record.
More than 11% have not told anyone about their problem, fearing they would be laughed at.
And 45% of men who have visited doctors felt they weren’t helpful, with 40% not offered any treatment at all.
The condition is linked to two others – Dupuytren’s disease and Ledderhose disease.
The first affects the hands and is a benign thickening of the connective tissue of the palm and fingers.
Ledderhose is a similar complaint of the underside of the feet that can cause discomfort and pain.
British Dupuytren’s Society trustee Birgir Gislason said: “It’s time we started talking about Peyronie’s disease and the effect it is having on men.
“We were shocked to discover the true impact this is having on men and feel that sufferers need to be offered a range of treatments, as well as psychological support, during what can be a very difficult time.”
Consultant clinical psychologist Dr. Noelle Robertson welcomed the initiative to increase awareness of the disease.
She said: “In addition to its negative impact on intimacy, sexual activity and satisfaction, psychologically it can significantly affect mood, self-esteem and masculinity.”
Consultant urologist David Ralph said: “Too many doctors are not educated about the disease.
“We have a variety of treatments available to us – from oral drugs to injections and, as a last resort, surgery.”
A website – www.thisispeyronies.co.uk – is launched today to provide advice and support.
Matt first started to notice symptoms a year-and-a-half ago.
The 51-year-old, from Glasgow, said: “I noticed there was some curvature and it was sore and painful.
“I was unable to have full sex in the missionary position because my penis is bent.
“I had to tell my partner because it was getting to the stage it was impossible to have sex. It was embarrassing.
“The size and girth of my penis has also got smaller, to such an extent that I don’t use urinals because I am embarrassed about the size.”
Matt said at first he thought he had injured himself during sexual activity and that it would sort itself out.
He added: “It didn’t, so I had to go to the doctor – but he didn’t have a clue what it was and referred me to a urologist, who knew what it was right away.”
Matt was given a vacuum pump to use four times a day in the hope it would help straighten things out.
But he said: “I work nine to five, so I couldn’t just disappear to the toilet twice a day, every day, for 15 minutes at a time carrying a big box.
“It is not the kind of thing you want your workmates to know about.”
Eighteen months on, dad-of-two Matt still experiences pain but he has never been offered any further treatment or medication.
He admitted: “I should go back to the doctor but I just feel awkward and embarrassed. I feel there is no help there.”