Women Share Thoughts on Peyronie’s Disease

Women Share Thoughts on Peyronie’s Disease

Men and their female partners experience Peyronie’s disease in different ways, experts say.

While the condition affects men specifically, a woman’s sex life is affected, too.

Peyronie’s disease is characterized by areas of hardened tissue called plaques that form on the penis, just below the skin’s surface. Scientists aren’t sure exactly why the plaques form, but some believe they are the result of a wound that doesn’t heal properly. Because the plaques aren’t flexible, the penis can curve significantly when erect, making vaginal intercourse difficult.

Peyronie’s disease typically has two phases. The first phase, called the acute phase, is when symptoms begin. Plaques begin to form and the penis starts to bend. During the second phase (called the chronic phase), these symptoms stabilize. The curvature remains, but it usually doesn’t get worse at this point.

It’s not unusual for men with Peyronie’s disease to feel anxious, sad, and frustrated about their situation. They may lose sexual confidence and worry about pleasing their partner. Some couples have sex less frequently and grow apart.

What reaction do female partners have to Peyronie’s disease? That question hadn’t been widely investigated, but the new study provides some insight.

The researchers worked with 44 men with Peyronie’s disease who were having their first consultation with a doctor to address it. The men’s female partners accompanied them to their appointment. Each member of the couple completed questionnaires about the effects of Peyronie’s disease on their sexual relationship.

Most of the men were in the chronic phase of Peyronie’s disease, with a median curve of 75 degrees.

Most couples said that the effects of Peyronie’s disease made vaginal intercourse difficult for them and that they had sex less often because of it. Almost half of the men and about a third of the women felt at least moderate discomfort or pain during vaginal intercourse.

About a quarter of the women met the criteria for a sexual dysfunction diagnosis. However, fewer women than men were “very” or “extremely” bothered by the appearance of the curved penis. Women were also less likely to feel “very” or “extremely” bothered by the curvature during intercourse.

The authors weren’t sure why men were more bothered by Peyronie’s disease than women were. But it’s possible that they felt inadequate or embarrassed about their sexual performance, they said.

The specific amount and direction of penile curvature weren’t linked to sexual difficulties for the couples, the authors added.

The researchers encouraged communication between couples and the involvement of female partners in Peyronie’s disease decision making and treatment.

They also acknowledged that their research pertained to heterosexual, cisgender couples having vaginal intercourse. Therefore, the findings might not be applicable to couples with other sexual orientations or gender identities, and further research is needed in this area.


The Journal of Sexual Medicine

Farrell, M. Ryan, MD, MPH, et al.

“Peyronie’s Disease and the Female Sexual Partner: A Comparison of the Male and Female Experience”

(Full-text. Published: October 14, 2020)


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.