July 28, 2022 Dennis Wallaces journey through his treatment of a little-discussed male disorder started 5 years back with a Hmm moment, accompanied by little discussion.
I simply began to notice a bend in my own penis when it had been erect, says Wallace. He showed his wife, Lisa, who replied, It looks fine if you ask me. Put it away. He did, in body and at heart. I must say i didnt consider it an excessive amount of.
While men haven’t any reason to anticipate a ruler-straight erection, Wallaces bend quickly sharpened to 45 degrees about 2 inches from the top. He soon became struggling to have sexual intercourse. Plaque that had formed at the top side of his penis was in charge of the curve.
Overall, it had been shorter when erect.
A clinician recommended a $1,200 tube of medication that may breakdown the plaque. He was urged to bend his penis contrary to the curve. You might hear an extremely loud crack, Wallace remembers his doctor saying. I said, Oh my God, really?
Wallace, a 60-year-old IT worker in Dubuque, IA, got few decent treatment plans but did get a diagnosis: Peyronies disease. The connective tissue disorder results in the forming of scar tissue formation on the peniss tunica albuginea, a blood-containing tube that expands during an erection. The scar tissue formation is thought to be the consequence of mild or major traumas to the organ during sexual or athletic activity.
Amy Pearlman, MD, an assistant professor of urology at the University of Iowa, and the physician who finally set Wallace on an effective treatment, compares the penis to a prizefighter whos experienced a boxing ring for several years. Nobody gets in a boxing ring without escaping . with scars. And scar tissue formation doesnt stretch.
The incidence of Peyronies varies, partly because men are too embarrassed to go over the issue. Pearlman says the rate ranges between 0.5% and 20% of men. Wayne J.G. Hellstrom, MD, a professor of urology at Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans, puts it at 4%.
Usually the condition is painful. Men who’ve Peyronies are usually in middle age and also have other conditions, including diabetes and erection dysfunction or both, in Wallaces case.
Surgery, including a penile implant, is a treatment option, as have stretches and spring-loaded traction devices that bend the penis in the contrary direction of the curve.
Wallace dismissed the surgery option. The initial words out of my mouth was, Nobody is going for a knife to it down there, he says.
The initial FDA-approved nonsurgical treatment for Peyronies, an injectable drug called Xiaflex, found its way to 2013. Xiaflex has turned into a go-to option for treating Peyronies in men whose penis bends 30 degrees or even more.
Hellstrom, who helped develop Xiaflex, says studies show that 70% of men who have the four-course treatment see improvement. Early studies found a 34% improvement about 17 degrees in penile curvature. For Pearlman, an objective isn’t to hesitate to getting an erection.
Endo Pharmaceuticals, which markets Xiaflex, launched an ad campaign last fall that aimed to have the discussion of Peyronies going again. NFL viewers, a bulls-eye demographic target, got their first glimpse of the companys bent carrot commercial urging anyone who has the problem to speak to a urologist in what your manhood could appear to be.
Snickering ensued in a few corners, with some critics saying they didnt desire to see this ad through the dinner hour. Justin Mattice, Endos vice president and general manager of medical therapeutics, says the commercial was a light method of tackling a significant subject.
Endo spoke to the men that are suffering from the problem, but achieved it in a manner that would clear network TV, he says. Important thing is, it works.
Peyronies is an extremely distressing condition for folks, Pearlman says. No father is telling his son about curvature.
Before he received Xiaflex, Wallace says, he was feeling sort of really bummed out. I thought there is likely to be no treatment for this. Its sort of damaging to your mental health.
Wallace says the procedure which insurance covered for him was uncomfortable however, not painful, although some patients do have pain.
Another three or four 4 days, your penis appears like an eggplant, he says. Its completely black and blue and swollen.
His curvature went from 45 degrees to an even more manageable 20 degrees. He still runs on the penis pump and takes pills for erection dysfunction, but he says, Personally i think like Ive got the libido of a 20-year-old again.
Man With a Mission
Wallace is becoming an evangelist for treating Peyronies, often through Facebook. At one point, he was in touch with three men, two of whom were contemplating suicide. That ripped me apart, he says.
Ordinarily a big obstacle is men who dont desire to discuss their problem.
Its very hard to speak about, and men arent good overall advocates because of their health, Mattice says. The partner in a relationship is actually a driver in saying, Things arent right. But after they sort of proceed through that gauntlet, theyre almost relieved at how simple the procedure was.
Hellstrom says he’s got seen more patients due to the bent carrot commercial. Its very efficient, he says. Theres no reason to send patients home and wait and worry for that year. They ought to initiate treatment immediately.
Xiaflex isnt available everywhere, therefore the treatment isnt so simple. Allison Jenner of England described her husbands bout with erection dysfunction, and especially Peyronies, as grueling.
The sexual contact became less and less, and he became more angry, then gradually the anger gave solution to depression, she says. We drifted apart and lived like strangers. It had been just like coping with a roommate, not just a husband.
Jenners husband was successfully treated with a penis pump, the drug Cialis, and a constriction ring. Their sex life has improved, but he’s got never discussed it with anyone. Jenner has found people like Wallace to be extremely helpful in getting men to start.
Maybe it had been just time and energy to surrender, Wallace says.