How Do People With Peyronie’s Disease View Penile Curvature Compared to the General Population?

How Do People With Peyronie’s Disease View Penile Curvature Compared to the General Population?

Having a slight curve in one’s penis is normal, and it is not necessarily cause for alarm. However, if the curve is so severe that it prevents the individual from having penetrative sex, it may be a sign of a medical condition. One medical condition that causes penile curvature is Peyronie’s disease (PD). PD can develop when scar tissue forms below the skin of the penis, making it bend during erections.

In a recent study, investigators looked at how adults with PD perceive penile curvature and how their opinions compare to those of adults without PD. Additionally, the researchers explored how willing the study participants would be to have the curvature surgically corrected in themselves or their children. Lastly, the authors of this study wanted to see if there were demographic differences between the groups who perceived a need for surgical correction and those who did not.

A total of 575 men, women, and nonbinary individuals from general urology clinics of three institutions in the United States participated in this study. Of these participants, 141 were patients with PD, 132 were patients with other andrology/sexual health concerns, and 302 were general urology patients and their partners who had been in a general urology waiting room.

The survey included several unlabeled 2-dimensional images of penis models with varying degrees of penile curvature. Participants were asked to select images they would want surgically corrected for themselves and their children.

On average, the participants’ threshold for surgical correction across all groups was 50° of penile curvature. This threshold is higher than the historical threshold of >30° that has been used to indicate moderate PD severity that may warrant intervention. There were no significant differences in the decision to surgically correct curvature between participants with and without PD.

Interestingly, participants were more reluctant to pursue surgical correction for their children. Over 20% of respondents in all groups would choose not to correct any degree of curvature for their children, regardless of the severity.

In terms of demographic differences among those who would be more or less willing to surgically correct a penile curvature, only one significant finding emerged. Participants in the “general urology” group aged 45 to 54 years and those who identified as LGBTQ had a higher threshold for correction compared to their counterparts when considering other demographic variables.

This study emphasizes the importance of shared decision making and expert counseling when patients are dealing with penile curvature. There is no clear benchmark with regards to the degree of curvature to guide treatment decisions, but health care providers must consider the functional impact of the degree of curvature and their patients’ perspectives when supporting their patients with PD.


  • Henry, A.J., Holler, J.T., Lui, J., Breyer, B.N., Ziegelmann, M., Cohen, T., Smith, R.P., Yeaman, C., Winkelman, A.J., Villanueva, C., & Kern, N.G. (2023). Do patients with Peyronie’s disease perceive penile curvature in adults and children differently than the general population?. The Journal of Sexual Medicine, 20(7), 998-1003.

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