According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), there’s no current research to support the assumption that lifestyle changes like diet and nutrition can prevent Peyronie’s disease. However, the condition may clear up on its own or through various treatment methods.
Some doctors may recommend that sufferers from Peyronie’s disease (or PD) should undergo invasive treatments that may consist of surgery or injections.
Other times, doctors may suggest that PD sufferers do nothing or make lifestyle changes to attempt to alleviate the symptoms of this disease. Occasionally, a man may experience a clearing up of the Peyronie’s disease’s signs by following non-invasive treatment options like GAINSWave® therapy.
Are PD and Erectile Dysfunction Related?
For men who are suffering from Peyronie’s disease, symptoms of erectile dysfunction also may exist. Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the inability of a man to achieve or maintain an erection that is firm enough for sexual intercourse.
Men who have significant pain with PD may have emotional stress that leads to ED. Psychologically, the pain may cause the sufferer to try to avoid having an erection, so he may subconsciously not respond to normal sexual arousal signals.
ED and PD are two different conditions. The majority of invasive treatments made for erectile dysfunction aren’t effective for PD. However, some non-invasive treatments, such as GAINSWave®, can be effective for both conditions.
Recommended Lifestyle Changes
If a man suffers from erectile dysfunction as well as PD, he may want to undertake some lifestyle changes to help with the ED symptoms. These changes to his lifestyle may allow him to more easily achieve an erection, allowing him to continue having sex, even when he has Peyronie’s disease.
According to Cleveland Clinic, some of the potential lifestyle changes a man can try include:
- Quitting smoking
- Exercising regularly
- Reducing the consumption of alcohol
- Eliminating the use of illegal drugs
A man may also want to undergo counseling to help with stress, anxiety, or depression. Understand that these lifestyle changes may not affect Peyronie’s disease. Changes of this kind are intended to improve the ability of the PD sufferer to have sexual intercourse without worrying about ED symptoms.
Treating Peyronie’s Disease
In extreme cases of Peyronie’s disease, doctors may suggest invasive treatments. These may include:
- Oral medications
- Injections in the penis
- Surgery to remove scar tissue
- Surgery for a penile implant
However, some men don’t feel comfortable with this type of aggressive treatment. Invasive treatments like surgery may not even work in some cases.
Treating a Mild Case of PD
If the pain associated with PD is mild and if the curvature of the penis is minimal, some doctors may recommend no treatment. Occasionally, a mild form of Peyronie’s disease will clear up on its own after several months.
With Peyronie’s disease, a man won’t see a large number of symptoms. Instead, it’s far more likely that he and his sexual partner will notice the signs of Peyronie’s disease during sexual intercourse.
For those with PD, the erect penis won’t be straight. It will be bent, usually with an upward curvature. For severe forms of PD, the penis may be shortened or have an indentation. It may be difficult for the male with Peyronie’s disease to experience a full erection for achieving sexual penetration.
Peyronie’s disease often is accompanied by significant pain during erections or sex. If you have symptoms that you believe are associated with Peyronie’s disease, seek advice from a doctor.
How Peyronie’s Disease Forms
Scar tissue that forms just beneath the skin of the penis causes Peyronie’s disease. This scar tissue, also called plaque, restricts the flexibility of the penis as it becomes erect, causing a bent erection.
Although it’s not known in every case exactly how Peyronie’s disease forms, the most common cause appears to be repeated injury to the penis. According to Mayo Clinic, this can occur during athletic activity or sexual intercourse. As the penis heals from the trauma, the scar tissue may form.
An Alternative Treatment Option For PD
For many people with PD, lifestyle changes alone won’t be enough to alleviate the symptoms. However, a man may be nervous about undergoing surgery or another aggressive treatment option.
Non-invasive shockwave therapy may prove beneficial for a man with PD — the GAINSWave® treatment. Treatment of this kind makes use of high-frequency and low-intensity shockwaves as a method of treatment for PD. The waves attempt to break down the scar tissue in the penis without the need for invasive surgery.
A GAINSWave® therapy provider can answer any questions you have about this treatment method.