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Common Penis Problems

By Amy Otis

Peyronie's Disease:

Peyronie's Disease (pay-row-KNEES) is acquired in adult life rather than at birth (like hypospadias). Men with Peyronie's disease usually seek medical attention because of painful erections and difficulty with intercourse.

Peyronie's Disease is caused by the formation of hard plaque on the upper or lower side of the penis. The plaque forms in layers containing erectile tissue. The local inflammation eventually develops into a full scar. This scar tissue is hard and inflexible, and causes the penis to bend when erect. The effects of this bend are far less noticeable when the penis is in a flaccid state.

François de la Peyronie, a French surgeon first described Peyronie's disease in 1743. Early writers classified it as a form of impotence, now called erectile dysfunction (ED). Peyronie's disease can be associated with ED; however, experts now recognize ED as only one factor associated with the disease, a factor that is not always present.

This affliction leaves the penis bent distinctly in some direction. Often, the angle is in excess of 45 degrees and results in serious pain during erection and the impossibility of normal sexual intercourse.

Bear in mind that a gentle curve in the penis is natural and you probably don’t have Peyronie's Disease!  There is no need to worry about a curved penis unless the curve suddenly appeared and/or you're penis has experienced some sort of trauma.

Unfortunately, symptoms of the disease may develop methodically or overnight.  Overnight appearances are usually due to some sort of serious penile trauma, but not always.  If you think that you have Peyronie's Disease, then I highly recommend you see your healthcare provider, who may refer you to an urologist.


Hypospadias is a congenital disorder of the penis, an abnormality that may affect up to one out of every 400 to 500 male infants. Instead of having a urethral opening at the end of the penis, boys born with hypospadias have an opening on the underside of the shaft of their penis. If this causes a problem with urination, the condition can be surgically corrected. About 10% of boys born with this defect may also have undescended testicles.

Surgery is most often performed before the child reaches school age. The surgery involves creating a tube to extend the urethra to the end of the penis. The original hole is most often left as it is since the urethra now bypasses it. Although the penis has two holes, only one is functional. Otherwise it should be a normal functioning penis.


Priapism is an involuntary prolonged or painful erection that can persist for hours, days and is not associated with sexual arousal. It can occur at any age and is a true emergency with risks of subsequent impotency. Primary priapism is the result of trauma or infection. Secondary causes include sickle cell disease, spinal cord injury and stroke. Various medications can also contribute to this condition.


Phimosis refers to a tightening of the skin of the foreskin that prevents retraction over the glans—the sensitive erectile tip of the penis. There are two typical forms of this tightness: an infant phimosis and the phimotic ring or band.

An infant phimosis has an easily recognizable tubular form; this is common and healthy in infants but occasionally will continue into adulthood. The adult phimosis is a thin contour of skin tissue located towards the front of the inner foreskin and it narrows the opening of the foreskin. A phimotic ring can make retraction of the foreskin over and behind the glans impossible, painful, or difficult, the foreskin may even get stuck behind the glans. This condition is often treated by circumcision, however, there are less invasive procedures depending upon the degree of phimosis, see several urologists for opinions if you have this condition.

For “simple” phimosis, stretching of the foreskin may be a method for treatment that may work. Steroids and surgery are other options. For more on this condition do a search on any search engine.

Large Penis Veins:

It’s normal for men to have prominent veins on their penis. For some men, sometimes the appearance of veins is a result of poorly functioning valves in their testicles. If you see your veins changing in size or color, it’s time to see your friendly urologist.

Amy Otis is a registered nurse, a writer and an educator. She is the founder of,, and this web site. Stop by and visit, you might just learn something!

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