The causes of Peyronie’s disease are not clear but it is thought to happen after repeated bending or bumping of an erect penis. The tearing in the lining of the erectile tissue leads to an inflammatory plaque that does not heal in a normal way. Small blood vessels can burst and interfere with blood flow. Usually this kind of injury only swells, or becomes inflamed (red and/or hot), and will heal within a year. However, in some men recovery takes longer and scaring can happen.
Whilst Peyronie’s disease occurs mostly in middle-aged men, younger and older men can acquire it.
In approximately 30% of people with Peyronie’s disease will also present with fibrosis (hardened cells in other elastic tissues of the body, such as on a person’s hand or foot, also known as ‘Dupuytren’s contracture of the hand’. In some cases, men who are related by blood tend to develop Peyronie’s disease. This suggests family factors might make a man vulnerable to the disease.
Adapted from: Porterbrook Clinic and Sheffield Hospital Andrology Service Information on Peyronie’s disease.
Andrology Australia Factsheet.