Nothing will cause a man to run to the doctor faster than a problem with his “best friend below the belt.” Some curvature of the penis is very common. If it is mild, has been there your whole life, and doesn’t affect your performance in the bedroom then it’s nothing to worry about.
If your curvature is new and causing difficulties with sexual activity then we are here to help. Let’s discuss options to straighten a penis that don’t lead to an ER visit or, worse, a trip to the operating room.
What are the causes of a bent penis?
Most men will have a slight bend to their penis. This is likely due to a slight size discrepancy in the two erectile chambers (copora cavernosa). There is no way to change this and it rarely causes any issues or complaints.
If your penis curves to one side when flaccid (fancy doctor term for “not erect”) then this is also normal. Some guys hang to the right and others to the left. Again, nothing to see here. No reason to try and straighten a penis that only bends when flaccid.
The primary cause of a curved penis during an erection is Peyronie’s disease (PD). PD is caused by the formation of scar tissue on the erectile chamber. This scar tissue prevents that portion of the penis from expanding during an erection leading to penile bending, shortening and at times erectile dysfunction.
Affecting 1-9% of men, PD is not uncommon. Although some men report a history of trauma to an erect penis, most cases of PD occur for no good reason.
Although the penis curvature can greatly impact a man’s ability to perform, it is not dangerous nor is it a sign of a more serious medical condition.
Can I straighten a bent penis naturally?
It depends what you mean by natural. There are unfortunately no pills, creams, ointments, supplements or over-the-counter medications that are going to change penile curvature due to PD. Straightening your penis is going to take some physical help.
Although it should not have to be said, DO NOT FORCEFULLY BEND AN ERECT PENIS. This can lead to a penile fracture and an urgent operation.
We’re certain some of you are saying “no dip Sherlock, why would someone bend their penis when erect?” Sadly this wasn’t so obvious to some men and they actually “broke their penis” (don’t worry we fixed it). That piece of advice was for the DIY fraction of our audience.
One natural way to straighten a penis is patience. Some cases of PD will resolve spontaneously with time. If it’s been over 6-12 months however this is less likely.
If we include non-invasive options in the “natural” category, then one at-home remedy is penile traction therapy. Used twice a day for 30 minutes, you strap your good buddy into this device to elongate and stretch out the plaque. When used for up to 12 weeks it has shown to safely improve both penile length and curvature.
One treatment that my patients have used is the Medical Enlarger from Andromedical. It’s an FDA-approved device that’s used specifically for straightening a penis.
Another non-surgical therapy being studied for PD is ESWT (shockwave therapy). Although results for straightening a penis are unclear, ESWT may help pain and ED associated with a bent penis. It is a natural alternative that needs to be studied further for PD.
Are there prescription medications that straighten a bent penis?
The only FDA approved medication for PD is Xiaflex® (collagenase clostridium histolyticum). It is an injectable medication (ouch!) that is clinically proven to straighten a bent penis.
To see if Xiaflex® is right for you, an evaluation with a urologist is necessary. The specialist will need to document at least 30 degrees of penile curvature and the negative impact the penile pain, penile curvature or ED is having on your sexual performance. Next a physical exam will locate the size and location of the plaque on the erectile chamber of the penis.
Once approval from your insurance company is obtained, you’ll be scheduled for two visits, three days apart, to receive the injections. A small needle is inserted into the plaque and Xiaflex® is delivered. After the 2nd injection, no sexual activity is recommended for at least 4-6 weeks.
At home you’ll stretch and bend the penis while flaccid to help “break up” the scar tissue. Injections can be repeated in 12 weeks if necessary.
Bruising and pain are the most common side effects. A penile fracture or rupture of the erectile chamber has been reported (<1%). Avoiding sexual activity during the 1st month will help minimize this risk.
When do I need surgery for a bent penis?
Surgery to straighten a penis is necessary for men who have:
- Failed more conservative therapies
- Have moderate-to-severe ED along with penile curvature
- “Hour-glass” deformity from PD (the plaque wraps all the way around the penis)
Surgery can greatly improve the quality-of-life for men with no other options. However there are risks. Sometimes surgery for PD can straighten the penis but lead to new erectile dysfunction. Not good. Other surgeries can actually shorten the penis. Really not good.
It’s important to find an experienced urologist with expertise in PD.
Telemedicine for a bent penis
What role does telemedicine play in helping you to straighten your penis? At VirtuCare we have board-certified urologists who are experienced in treating all types of male sexual dysfunction.
Through a secure, video chat from the privacy of your home we can:
- Listen to your history and determine if an in-person visit is necessary
- Answer any questions without the embarrassment of going to an office
- Prescribe medications for associated erectile difficulties due to PD
- Help you decide on a reputable penile traction device
- Find the best urologist in your area with expertise in Xiaflex® or surgery for PD
A bent penis is an embarrassing and painful medical condition. But you don’t have to feel alone. At VirtuCare we are on your healthcare team to make certain you get the care you deserve.
Schedule a consultation today.