Some Australian men suffer from condition that causes penises to curve: study

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A mock copulating couple is displayed at the exhibition "Sex and Evolution" at the Natural History museum in the western city of Muenster October 17, 2013. Reuters/Ina Fassbender

One in ten Australian men suffer from a condition that makes their penises curve to the side, according to a new study. The chronic inflammatory condition is called Peyronie’s disease (PD), which affects up to 13 percent of the male population.

The Urological Society of Australia and New Zealand conducted a study which involved about 1,300 Australian men. It will be presented at their scientific meeting in Melbourne.

The study has found that one in six men suffering from the condition experience discomfort and pain when they have an erection. Some are bothered by the appearance of their private body part. One in five are concerned when they have sexual intercourse and report difficulty having intercourse.

The disease develops when the penis tries to heal and when scar tissue develops in an unusual way. A deformity can occur.

Urologist Professor Eric Chung, who led the study, said that a majority of men suffering from the condition have a 30 to 60 degree curve in their penis. The situation is even worse for some as they get indentations as well. When this happens, one side will look collapsed compared to the other side.

Curved penis

A curved erection can cause pain not only to men but also to their partner. It can also affect blood flow so it may cause erectile dysfunction.

Chung told that this is a very taboo subject. “You’re not going to see many people sharing that they have a penile curvature,” he said.

Since many men are not expected to talk about it, the condition’s psychological impacts to patients can be devastating. Chung said that some men find it depressing, adding that a number of men suffering from the condition are experiencing severe mental and physical distress, specifically in romantic relationships.

According to Chung, one implication involves not being able to conceive in a normal manner. “A lot of men get really frustrated and end up coming back from the consultation depressed, thinking nothing can be done.”

While the condition affects some Australian men, several GPs reportedly do not have any understanding about it. The issue is said to be exacerbated by a lack of awareness. The study’s findings will be presented at the International Society of Sexual Medicine conference in Lisbon.