Factors Associated With Depression in Peyronie’s Disease Patients

Factors Associated With Depression in Peyronie’s Disease Patients

According to a new study in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, having a partner may protect against depression in men with Peyronie’s disease, while a history of depression and higher Peyronie’s Disease Questionnaire (PDQ) scores may be predictive of depression.

Peyronie’s disease is a condition in which scar tissue or plaques form in the penis, causing it to bend and shorten. The curve of the penis can make penetration difficult or painful and sometimes results in erectile dysfunction.

Perhaps it is not surprising that Peyronie’s disease not only affects one’s sexual function but can also have a big impact on one’s mental health and relationships. In previous studies, men with Peyronie’s disease have reported problems with self-esteem, social isolation, performance anxiety, relationship issues, and stigmatization. One such study found rates of depression of up to 50% among Peyronie’s patients.

This study of 408 men seeking treatment for Peyronie’s disease at a high-volume sexual medicine practice explored factors that may be predictors of depression in these patients. Each patient completed three questionnaires for the study: the PDQ which assesses the severity of the physical and psychological symptoms of Peyronie’s disease, the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D), and the Self-Esteem and Relationship (SEAR) questionnaire.

Using a CES-D score of 16 or higher as a cut-off for moderate to severe depression, the researchers determined that 110 out of the 408 men in the study (27%) had clinical depression. This is less than the 50% rate from the previous study, but the authors acknowledged that the other study used a CES-D cut-off score of 14 or higher to indicate depression.

Between the group with depression and the group without depression, there were no significant differences in the average age of the men, the average duration of time with Peyronie’s disease, or the frequency of complex deformities (things like an hourglass shape deformity, a curve of over 60 degrees, etc.)

Although the average degree of penile curvature was greater in the group of men with depression, the difference was not clinically meaningful, meaning that it would be unlikely to have a noticeable effect among patients in the real world outside of the study.   

The authors found that higher PDQ scores and a history of depression were associated with higher rates of depression in the men during the time of the study. On the other hand, the men with higher SEAR scores were less likely to be depressed.

Interestingly, 74% of the men in the group with depression had partners and 84% of the men in the group without depression had partners. This is why the authors suggest that having a partner may, in part, protect against depression for men with Peyronie’s disease, but further research would need to be done to support this finding.

If you have Peyronie’s disease and struggle with depression, performance anxiety, social isolation, or relationship issues, talk to your health care provider about mental health resources that are available in your area.


Punjani, N., Nascimento, B., Salter, C., Taniguchi, H., Jenkins, L., & Mulhall, J.P. (2021). Predictors of Depression in Men With Peyronie’s Disease Seeking Evaluation. The Journal of Sexual Medicine. Article in press (published online March 9, 2021). https://www.jsm.jsexmed.org/article/S1743-6095(21)00243-5/fulltext.

You may also be interested in...

Other Popular Articles

What Is Jelqing, and Does It Actually Work?

The term “jelqing” refers to a set of penis stretching exercises that some believe can make the penis bigger. Although the practice has gained attention and popularity in blogs and internet forums in recent years, there is no scientific evidence that it is an effective way to permanently increase the size of one’s penis. In fact, in some cases, jelqing may actually cause damage to the penis, so it is a good idea to get all the facts before setting off to try it.

What Is Sensate Focus and How Does It Work?

Sensate focus is a technique used to improve intimacy and communication between partners around sex, reduce sexual performance anxiety, and shift away from ingrained, goal-oriented sexual patterns that may not be serving a couple.

What Is the Average Penis Size?

If you have ever wondered how your penis compares to others in terms of size, you are not alone. Many men are curious to know how their penises stack up compared to the average. Unfortunately, general curiosity can sometimes give way to full-on obsession and anxiety about penis size. This can be an unhealthy and often unnecessary fixation, especially because most men who think their penises are too small have perfectly normal-sized penises.

What Is Edging and Why Do People Do It?

Edging is the practice of stopping sexual stimulation before reaching orgasm to prolong a sexual experience. The term stems from the concept of approaching the metaphorical “edge” of orgasm but stopping before going over the edge.

Can Sex Reduce Menstrual Cramps?

The SMSNA periodically receives and publishes ‘guest editorials.’ The current article was submitted by Mia Barnes, a freelance writer and researcher who specializes in women's health, wellness, and healthy living. She is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Body+Mind Magazine.

Having sex while you experience menstrual cramps is healthy and can provide significant benefits. While it might not be the first activity that comes to mind when your PMS or period cramping begins, many people enjoy sex to reduce menstrual cramps, experience increased pleasure and benefit from other advantages. Learn more about having sex while menstrual cramps are happening and how it can help your body.

Can Sex Throw off Your Vaginal pH Balance?

The SMSNA periodically receives and publishes ‘guest editorials.’ The current article was submitted by Mia Barnes, a freelance writer and researcher who specializes in women's health, wellness, and healthy living. She is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Body+Mind Magazine.

Your vagina is a pretty powerful organ. It is a pathway for menstrual blood and babies. It also is a main player in sexual intercourse. You might hear about your vagina’s pH and worry that yours is at risk. Here’s what to know about vaginal pH, including the impacts sex could have.

Find a Provider

Find a provider who specializes in sexual medicine in your area.