Can Peyronie’s disease get worse?

When faced with the onset of Peyronie’s disease, you may want to know if it will get worse or, hopefully, go away.

In rare cases, Peyronie’s disease resolves on its own within 12-18 months without any form of medical treatment.

For many, the disease does change over time but it does not go away. It usually occurs in 2 phases — the acute (or active) phase and the chronic (or stable) phase.

Acute Phase   Chronic Phase
  • Can last up to 18 months
  • Is when the most changes to the penis occur
  • Plaques and curvature may develop
  • Pain often occurs with or without an erection
 
  • Typically begins 12-18 months after symptoms first appear
  • Plaque and penile curvature are not likely to worsen but are also not likely to improve
  • Penile pain usually diminishes, but erectile dysfunction may develop or worsen
  • Acute phase may return if another injury occurs

Acute (Active) Phase

The first phase can last up to about 18 months and is when most of the changes in the penis occur. Plaques begin to form, causing changes in the shape of the erect penis. As plaques develop, curvature often worsens.

Erections become painful for many men. Early in the acute phase, pain may occur without an erection, caused by inflammation in the area of the developing plaque. Once the scar is formed, pain may be caused by tension on the plaque during erection.

Chronic (Stable) Phase

For most men, the chronic, or stable, phase begins within 12-18 months after symptoms first appear. During this phase, the main signs of the disease — the plaque and penile curvature — become stabilized and are not likely to worsen. However, they are also not likely to improve. Penile pain usually diminishes during the chronic phase, but erectile dysfunction may develop or worsen. There is also the possibility of a return to the acute phase if another injury occurs.

Next page: Will I pass Peyronie’s disease on?

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