Many men notice a small degree of curvature in their members, but a significantly bent penis is less common – and it can be unsettling, in some cases causing low self-esteem, performance anxiety, and even depression in men who are prone. Taking appropriate penis care steps can be helpful in preventing this often painful condition, but a man with a truly bent penis may need to consider other options as well.
A severely bent penis is a medical condition known as Peyronie’s disease. Men who are suffering from this disease may have a member that appears perfectly normal when flaccid; however, when it becomes erect, it develops a curvature that can be extreme – in some instances as much as 90 degrees! The curvature may be to the left or to the right, or it may point upwards or bend down. Peyronie’s disease is the result of scarring on the erectile tissue that prevents one part of the erectile chamber from expanding normally during an erection – think of a bow bending when an archer pulls the string back to fire an arrow. This is often the result of an injury to the area – such as blunt force trauma to the area or even a rupture of the erectile tissue (usually caused by hard impact with a partner’s body or sudden bending/twisting).
As stated before, minor curvature is not at all unusual and is not considered a problem. As a matter of fact, some men (and their partners) prefer to have a bit of a bend. They may like the way it looks, and some women find that it stimulates them in a way that a perfectly straight penis does not. But with Peyronie’s, the bend may be so extreme that penetration becomes difficult and/or painful; up to 24% of men with Peyronie’s report a cessation in their sexual activity. And in some cases, the mere erection of the penis can result in pain. The flexibility of the organ may also be affected, and many men report a diminished sensitivity to their erections, as well.
The incidence of Peyronie’s disease is debated in the medical community. Some sources estimate that it affects between 1% and 3% of men; others think the incidence may be as high as 8% of men. It can occur at any age, but is somewhat more common in men age 40 or older.
Although the physical side effects of Peyronie’s are easily seen, there can be less obvious consequences; which may even include depression; one study found that 60% of men with Peyronie’s experienced depression due to their condition.
This is understandable: A man’s physical appearance has an impact on his mental health, and for many men, the penis and its appearance is an especially important component of the way they view themselves. When the penis takes on such a significantly altered appearance, it can change the way a man feels about himself. And when there are other factors added in, such as difficulty penetrating or a reduced sensation in the penis, this can also increase feelings of depression.
What to do
A man who feels depressed due to his bent penis needs to take steps to address this issue. It’s strongly advised that a man see a mental health professional to discuss how this condition is affecting him and to develop strategies for coping with the situation.
Some strategies that the doctor may suggest could include redefining the importance of the penis in one’s self-image; practicing affirmations that focus on the positive aspects of the penis; and partner-based reaffirmation of the man’s desirability. In some cases, anti-depressants may be recommended.
Beyond treating depression, men may want to try to treat the bent penis itself. Some treatments can lessen the curvature, especially when the cause is related to a build-up of scar tissue due to rough handling. Surgery may also be an option.
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