Symptoms and causes

What is it?

In Peyronie's disease, scar tissue develops inside the penis. This causes the penis to be curved during an erection. Sometimes this curvature is painful.

Limited curvature of the penis is common. This is not necessarily a reason for panic. In some men, however, Peyronie's disease causes a clear curvature that is accompanied by pain. As a result, sexual activity may no longer be possible or the pain may make it difficult to maintain an erection. On average, the penis also becomes a little shorter (0.8 cm). For some men, all of this leads to stress and fear of failure.

In about half of the cases, the curvature worsens over time. In 45% of cases, the curvature remains stable. Sometimes there is a large curvature and little pain, sometimes it is the other way around.

This condition occurs in 3 to 9% of men, at all ages but with a peak above the age of 60. In younger patients, diabetes or penile trauma (injury) play a role.

Diagnosis and treatment

How is the diagnosis determined?

  • Clinical examination
  • Ultrasound imaging


In some cases, medication can bring some improvement. The disease is characterised by a long maturation phase of several months to a year during which the development must be observed (with or without medication). If, after this phase of maturation, a disturbing curvature persists, a surgical approach is chosen: the penis is shortened a little at the ‘outer curve’ of the arc to obtain a straight (but somewhat shorter) penis again.

Treatment centres and specialisations

Urology Centre

Latest publication date: 25/01/2021
Supervising author: Dr Ameye Filip