Advertisements

For Men, Peyronie’s a Touchy Topic — But Help Is Available

Advertisements

Dennis Wallace’s journey of treating a little-talked-about male disorder began 5 years ago with an “Hmm” moment followed by a little discussion.

“I just started noticing the curve of my penis when it was erect,” Wallace says. He showed it to his wife, Lisa, who replied, “It seems to me that everything is in order. Take it away.” He did it with body and mind. “I really didn’t think about it too much.”

While men have no reason to expect straight erections, Wallace’s curve quickly escalated to 45 degrees about 2 inches from the head. He soon stopped having sex. The plaque that formed on the upper side of his penis was the cause of the curvature.

Advertisements

In general, it was shorter in the upright position.

The clinician recommended a $1,200 tube of medicine that could break down plaque. He was made to bend his penis against the curve. “You can hear a very loud crackling,” Wallace recalls the words of his doctor. “I said, ‘Oh my God, really?’

Wallace, a 60-year-old IT professional from Dubuque, Iowa, had some decent treatment options but was diagnosed with Peyronie’s disease. The disruption of the connective tissue results in the formation of scar tissue on the albuginea of ​​the penis, a blood-containing tube that expands during an erection. Scar tissue is thought to be the result of mild or severe trauma to the organ during sexual or athletic activity.

Advertisements

Battle scars

Amy Perlman, MD, assistant professor of urology at the University of Iowa and the physician who finally gave Wallace proper treatment, compares the penis to a boxer who “was in the boxing ring for many years.” boxing ring without scars. And the scar tissue doesn’t stretch.

Advertisements

The incidence of Peyronie’s disease varies in part because men are too embarrassed to discuss the problem. Perlman says the figure ranges from 0.5% to 20% of men. Wayne J. G. Hellstrom, MD, professor of urology at Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans, estimates the rate at 4%.

Often the condition is painful. Men with Peyronie’s tend to be middle-aged and have other conditions, including diabetes and erectile dysfunction, or both, in Wallace’s case.

See also  a Spanish wellness retreat that nurtures all 5 senses

Surgery, including a penile implant, was a treatment option, as were stretching exercises and spring-loaded traction devices that bend the penis in the opposite direction of the bend.

Advertisements

Wallace turned down the option of surgery. “The first words I said were, ‘No one will take a knife down there,’” he says.

The first FDA-approved non-surgical treatment for Peyronie’s disease, an injectable drug called Xiaflex, appeared in 2013. Xiaflex has become a popular treatment option for Peyronie’s disease in men whose penis is bent 30 degrees or more.

Hellstrom, who helped develop Xiaflex, says studies have shown that 70% of men who receive four courses of treatment see an improvement. Early studies have shown a 34% improvement in penile curvature – about 17 degrees. For Pearlman, the goal is “not to be afraid of an erection.”

Advertisements

Endo Pharmaceuticals, which sells Xiaflex, launched an ad campaign last fall to reopen the Peyronie case. Viewers of the NFL, a bull’s-eye demographic, saw for the first time an advertisement for a “bent carrot” company urging those with the condition to “talk to a urologist about what your manhood might look like.”

Giggles ensued in some corners, and some critics said they didn’t want to see such ads during their lunch break. Justin Mattis, Endo’s vice president and general manager of medical therapy, says the ad was an easy way to broach a serious topic.

Endo “talked to men with the condition, but he did it in a way that didn’t interfere with network television,” he says. “The bottom line is that it works.”

Peyronie’s disease is “a very debilitating condition for people,” Perlman says. “No father tells his son about curvature.”

Before getting Xiaflex, Wallace said he “felt very upset. I thought this would not be a solution. It’s kind of damaging to your mental health.”

Wallace says the treatment, which his insurance covered, was uncomfortable but not painful, although many patients experience pain.

“For the next 3 or 4 days, your penis looks like an eggplant,” he says. “He’s completely black, blue and swollen.”

Its curvature has increased from 45 degrees to a much more acceptable 20 degrees. He still uses a penis pump and takes erectile dysfunction pills, but says, “I feel like I’ve got the libido of a 20-year-old again.”

See also  Angelina Jolie's Workout Routine And Diet Plan

Man with a mission

Wallace has become an advocate for the treatment of Peyronie’s disease, often via Facebook. At some point, he was in contact with three men, two of whom contemplated suicide. “It tore me apart,” he says.

Often the biggest obstacle is men who do not want to discuss their problem.

“It’s very difficult to talk about this, and men in general are not good protectors of their health,” says Mattis. “The partner in the relationship is clearly the driving force that says, ‘It’s not like that. But “once they sort of get through that glove, they’re almost relieved by how easy the treatment was.”

Hellstrom says he saw more patients thanks to the “bent carrot” ad. “It’s extremely effective,” he says. “There is no reason to send patients home and wait and worry during this year. They should start treatment immediately.”

Xiaflex is not available everywhere, so treatment is not easy. Allison Jenner from England described her husband’s struggles with erectile dysfunction, especially Peyronie’s, as debilitating.

“There was less and less sexual intercourse, and he became more and more angry, then gradually the anger was replaced by depression,” she says. “We separated and lived like strangers. It was like living with a roommate instead of a husband.”

Jenner’s husband was successfully treated with a penis pump, Cialis, and a tightening ring. Their sex life improved, but “he never discussed it with anyone.” Jenner has found that people like Wallace are very helpful in opening up men.

“Perhaps it’s time to pay back,” Wallace says.

Sources

Dennis Wallace, Dubuque, IA.

Allison Jenner, England.

Justin Mattis, Vice President and General Manager, Medical Therapy, Endo Pharmaceuticals.

Amy Perlman, MD, clinical assistant professor of urology at the University of Iowa, Iowa City.

Wayne JG Hellstrom, MD, professor of urology, Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans.

YouTube: “Advertising Xiaflex” by Zheng Wen.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.