Peyronie’s disease is a condition that causes hardened plaques to form just under the skin of the penis. As a result, the penis loses flexibility and develops a distinct curve, sometimes to the point that sexual intercourse is difficult or impossible.
Men with Peyronie’s disease often feel pain and experience erectile dysfunction. But the condition can take an emotional and psychological toll as well. Men may feel depressed that their intimate relationships have changed, frustrated that they can’t perform like they used to, and anxious about satisfying their partner.
Peyronie’s disease can, in fact, have an impact on partners. In 2016, the Journal of Sexual Medicine published a study by Canadian researchers that shed some light on Peyronie’s effects on female partners.
Forty-four men with Peyronie’s disease and their female partners completed a series of questionnaires on their sexual function and satisfaction, emotional experiences, and overall relationship satisfaction.
The researchers discovered that the women generally had lower levels of sexual satisfaction and tended to have more sexual problems when compared to women in the general population.
However, the couples did have normal scores on assessments of relationship satisfaction, perhaps because their relationship was strong in spite of the sexual implications of Peyronie’s disease.
Couples facing Peyronie’s disease are encouraged to keep the lines of communication open, especially in sexual matters. They might need to make some adjustments to their sexual routine, but it’s still possible to be intimate. Some couples in this situation benefit from sex therapy, which can help them express and work through their sexual concerns, needs, and relationship issues.