It's common for the penis to curve slightly to the left or right when it's erect. But if you have a more significant bend in your penis, which may cause you pain or difficulty having sex, see your GP or go to your local genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinic. These can sometimes be symptoms of Peyronie's disease.
Peyronie's disease causes the penis to become curved when it's erect. The condition mostly affects men over 40, although it can happen at any age.
The symptoms of Peyronie's disease include:
But in severe cases, the curve in the penis can make having sex difficult, painful or even impossible. Peyronie's disease may also lead to erectile dysfunction.
The cause of Peyronie's disease is not yet understood.
It's thought the condition sometimes occurs after an injury to the penis when erect, such as being bent during sex, but it can develop without any obvious cause.
Peyronie's disease may run in families.
Many men don't need treatment, as they don't have pain or the condition doesn't affect their sexual function. The condition can sometimes improve without treatment.
Various non-surgical treatments are available, including medicines and injections of steroids into the affected area. But there's limited evidence of their effectiveness.
Guidance is available from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) on one treatment option: extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT).
This involves targeting soundwaves at the plaque, generally using an ultrasound scanner. The NICE guidance advises that, although ESWT is considered safe, there isn't enough evidence to prove its effectiveness.
In severe cases, it may be possible to treat Peyronie's disease with surgery. But doctors recommend waiting at least 12 months before considering surgery, as the condition can improve without treatment in some men.
Surgery may involve:
If you're concerned about a lump or bend in your penis, or it's causing problems with sex, go to your GP or a local GUM clinic.
Important: Our website provides useful information but is not a substitute for medical advice. You should always seek the advice of your doctor when making decisions about your health.