Peyronie’s disease occurs when scar tissue grows under the skin of the penis, causing it to curve or bend.
The condition can be painful, especially in the acute or early stage. You may also experience discomfort when you have an erection and during sex, which can strain your intimate relationships.
The pain from Peyronie’s disease can be emotional, as well. Many people with the condition have symptoms of depression and distress.
Fortunately, there are ways to manage both the physical and emotional pain from this condition.
Read on to learn about ways to relieve pain from Peyronie’s disease and reduce its impact on your sex life and mental health.
At-home therapies won’t cure Peyronie’s disease, but they can ease pain and discomfort. Here are some options to try:
- NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). Over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers, like ibuprofen (Advil), naproxen sodium (Aleve), and aspirin, can help with generalized discomfort and painful erections.
- Heat therapy. Using a heating pad on the area may provide some pain relief for people with Peyronie’s disease.
- Mind-body techniques. Meditation and breathing exercises may help relieve pain. These can help restore a feeling of control over the body and reduce the symptoms of chronic pain.
Most medical treatments for Peyronie’s disease are primarily focused on reducing curvature and removing plaque, but some come with the added benefit of pain relief.
Here are some medical treatments to explore with your doctor:
- Intralesional injections. Doctors sometimes treat Peyronie’s disease by injecting certain drugs, such as collagenase (Xiaflex), verapamil, and interferon-alpha 2b, into the penis. These injections reduce plaques and curving, and may also ease pain.
- Shockwave therapy (ESWT). For this noninvasive treatment, your healthcare provider will wave a device that emits sound waves around your penis. While not effective at reducing curvature or restoring erectile function, shockwave therapy has been shown to be a
successful treatment optionfor relieving penile pain from Peyronie’s disease.
- Surgery. Doctors usually only recommend surgery for people who have severe pain and curvature from Peyronie’s disease and haven’t had changes in their symptoms for 3 to 6 months. Surgical options may include removing plaques, shortening one side of the penis to reduce the curve, or inserting a prosthesis to help keep an erection.
Your experience with pain from Peyronie’s disease may change over time. Once the scar tissue forms and the penile curvature stops progressing, the discomfort may mainly occur during sex — and it may also affect your partner.
A 2020 study found that men with the condition and their female sexual partners both experienced similar levels of difficulty with vaginal intercourse. The results also showed that nearly half of the women and one-third of the men had moderate pain or discomfort during sex.
Working with a counselor or sex therapist can help you find ways to reduce the strain of Peyronie’s disease on your relationship and make sex less painful.
Pain and discomfort from Peyronie’s disease isn’t only physical — it can be psychological, as well.
You don’t have to cope with emotional concerns on your own. A mental health professional, such as a psychologist or therapist, can provide support and help you find ways to cope with these symptoms.
Peyronie’s disease can cause generalized pain and uncomfortable erections.
OTC medications, mind-body techniques, and a heating pad can help reduce pain. You may also want to connect with your doctor to see if a medical treatment, like shockwave therapy, is right for you.
Many people with Peyronie’s disease also deal with depression, self-esteem issues, and stress in their intimate relationships. In that case, a mental health professional can provide emotional support and help you develop ways to manage these concerns.