Partner of Peyronie’s disease – How to cope?

Peyronie’s disease results in an abnormal curvature of penis. It occurs due to formation of fibrous plaque in the tunica albuginea layer of penile shaft. This plaque reduces elasticity of penis resulting in an abnormal curvature, penile pain, shortening of penis and erectile dysfunction.

Successful sex may become impossible if the angle of penile curvature exceeds 30° angle. It is also important to know that normal sex is possible even with a curvature as long as there is no pain or discomfort.

Occurrence of Peyronie’s disease in male partner can also affect the sexual quality of life of the spouse.  Lack of sexual satisfaction may result in loss of intimacy. Some women may experience pain during penetration due to curvature. Care and gentleness may be required during coitus.

Men often find it difficult to discuss the problem with their spouse due to shame and embarrassment. It may also result in anxiety and depression. Research has shown that about 77% men with Peyronie’s disease admit to have “psychological effects” of this disease. So, how should this problem be dealt with?

First step to dealing with the emotional baggage of Peyronie’s is recognition of the problem.   Knowledge about Peyronie’s disease is essential to have a positive approach towards her partner. Improvement can occur spontaneously and effective treatment modalities are available.

The male partner can often develop insecurity and feeling of rejection due to an inability to perform or due to deformity of the penis. Helplessness, anger and frustration may develop in the affected male if the spouse fails to understand and accepts the illness. Discussion between two partners is essential and is required to have a positive frame of mind to tackle the crisis. The problem needs to be discussed openly. This prevents development of low self-esteem. Moral support from the partner is important to make life easier.

Here, the role of urologist is important. The affected couple should realize that a urologist is the best person to guide them and help them through the problem. Since the duration of observation may extend as over a year before surgery is considered, patience on the part of spouse becomes essential. Use of combination therapy may help to speed up the healing process and recovery. Affected person should be advised to be gentle during coitus to avoid more trauma and aggravation of inflammatory fibrosis. In people with severe deformity, surgery may be considered at the end of one year of multi-modality therapy.

Both require emotional support. A consultation with a psychologist or a sex therapist may coping with Peyronie’s. A positive outlook is essential. Relaxation techniques including meditation, yoga and breathing exercises also provide comfort.

In couples who develop anxiety and depression, consultation and treatment by a psychiatrist is indicated. Depression may be treated with medications or psychotherapy.

References:

1. Rosen R, Catania J, Lue T, Althof S, Henne J, Hellstrom W, et al. Impact of Peyronie’s disease on sexual and psychosocial functioning: qualitative findings in patients and controls. J Sex Med. Aug 2008;5(8):1977-84

2. Rosen R, Henne J, Catania J, Althof S. Patient reported psychosocial impact of Peyronie’s disease. J Sex Med. 2008;5(suppl 1):39.

3. Nelson CJ, Diblasio C, Kendirci M, Hellstrom W, Guhring P, Mulhall JP. The chronology of depression and distress in men with Peyronie’s disease. J Sex Med. Aug 2008;5(8):1985-90.

4. Smith JF, Walsh TJ, Conti SL, Turek P, Lue T. Risk factors for emotional and relationship problems in Peyronie’s disease. J Sex Med. Sep 2008;5(9):2179-84.

5. Gelbard MK, Dorey F, James K. The natural history of Peyronie’s disease. J Urol. 1990 Dec; 144(6):1376-9.

 

 

Last modified on December 1, 2013