Cause and History of the Peyronie's Disease

Francois Gigot de la Peyronie
One thing is for certain, and that is that Peyronie’s disease is a very old condition, that dates back hundreds of years, and has perhaps afflicted men since the earliest days of life on the planet. Just like other erectile dysfunctions, shame and a male culture that is associates masculinity with a powerful and effective penis mean that the condition is not normally discussed openly and as well as keeping it from the world at large, many men would also deny to themselves that there is a problem.

Francois Gigot de la Peyronie is the doctor most commonly associated with this condition, and it has been named after him for the work he carried out on penis curvature as one of the founders of the Royal Academy for Surgery in France. Although Peyronie described the disease some 250 years ago, it had been known about for much longer, Cesare Aranzi of Italy mentions the condition in his writings of 1587.

The work of Peyronie was informed by modern scientific techniques, and he laid the groundwork for much of the ongoing research, which is still seeking a cure so much later. Despite the huge advantages in medical research that have been carried out, a full cure for Peyronie’s disease is still as elusive to modern science as it was in 1743.

The majority of doctors agree that Peyronie’s disease is caused by microvascular trauma during sexual intercourse – although there is as yet no conclusive proof of this. The make up of the tunica albuginea tissue of the penis where the condition has its effect is not well supplied with blood, and so it heals slowly. This slow healing process is what causes the characteristic plaque of tissue to form, which forces the penis to curve unnaturally to one side or vertically. The plaque in the penis is made up of fibrin – the same protein that helps blood to clot, and because it is harder than the surrounding tissues, it prevents the normal expansion of the penis that occurs with an erection and this causes the penis to bend.

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Thankfully, Peyronie’s disease can only develop in a small percentage of men that are genetically predisposed to an accumulation of the fibrin protein in the tunica albuginea. This means that Peyronie’s disease can only affect a small number of men, and that it remains a rare condition.

The rareness of Peyronie’s disease is in many ways one of the reasons why no cully effective cure has yet been developed. Only a handful of researchers are actively working towards a cure, which is a painful truth for sufferers of the condition who have developed a plaque of tissue in the midline of their penis that causes their penis to bend and prevents them from enjoying sex. Happily, while there is not yet a cure for Peyronie’s Disease, there are a number of relatively effective treatments.


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