All About The Penis, Men & Male Sexuality

Penis problems

On this page, in this order:

  • Peyronie's disease

  • Sensitive testicles

  • Sensitive glans
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It sounds horrible, doesn't it? Peyronie's disease. I mean, isn't a disease something like measles, scarlet fever, or worse? Something you can catch from someone else? How can a bent penis be a disease? 

I guess it's only a disease in the sense that there is tissue damage, but since this is not contagious and only causes inconvenience to the guy with the problem, it still seems a harsh description. I suggest we just call it Peyronie's from now on. 

If you have a bent penis, or a partner with a bent penis, you, or he, may have Peyronie's. Now, some penises bend naturally as soon as they start growing and getting regularly erect at adolescence. In fact, a curvy penis is not at all unusual, so the fact that your member curves upwards like a banana or downwards like a scimitar does not in itself diagnose Peyronie's. (There's some great information on penis size and shape at 

The key thing about Peyronie's is that there is some degree of tissue damage to the internal structure of the penis, which results in the formation of a calcified plaque on the wall of the erectile chambers. This bit of calcified tissue, being hard and non-stretchy, means that the penis cannot become erect in the same way in all parts of the internal chambers - and the result is the characteristic bend which defines the condition.

Here's some information from a friend of mine with a bendy penis: " I was diagnosed with Peyronie's four years ago when my penis, apparently overnight, took on a sharp lean to the left - but only when it was erect. In fact, what happened was that the head began to bend down at the left hand side, as though it was attached inside the penis with a cord that was pulling it down.

When I investigated I felt a small lump under the skin, which turned out to be the calcified lump of tissue causing the shortening on the side of my penis. It was near the glans, so the effect is a bit like a lop-sided penis, with the head leaning down. Although the lump inside the penis tissue is getting bigger, it hasn't caused a distinct bend - and I hope it never does, because God knows how some of the guys I have spoken to with the problem ever have sex!

I've seen penises shaped like the letter J or C - the latter having two bends in it in opposite directions. Most of these guys are too terrified to have surgery, which seems odd to me - if that happened to me I wouldn't hesitate to go under the knife."

Ah yes, I thought, when I heard him say that, it's easy to say that when you don't need surgery - but what if you're actually faced with the choice of having your penis cut open, the faulty tissue extracted and then stitched up on the one hand, versus no penetrative sex but still being able to enjoy masturbation and oral sex on the other? A hard choice indeed, particularly when you've seen the operation performed.

The surgical option is actually the only one which really works, though those enterprising medics have tried some other stuff, like directing ultrasonic beams at the calcified lump in the hope that it will break up (they do the same thing to kidney stones, only with more success).

I once witnessed an operation on a rather large penis with a ninety degree bend in it, during the course of which the surgeon actually snapped the calcified lump in two like a twig. Ouch!

The crack reverberated around the operating theatre....and the problem is that once the penis is stitched up again, the erectile chambers may leak a bit (i.e. you have a floppy erection); and since you can't chop out part of the erectile tissue on one side without leaving a bend,  they have to shorten the other side to match, which means you end up with a penis that is shorter but hopefully straight.

It's a bit of a problem, and there's no easy answer. Back to my friend:

"The doctor told me that for as long as my penis actually felt painful at the site of the lump, the lump was still growing. I asked him when it would stop growing, and he said there was no way of knowing. Then I asked him if there was anything that would help, and he murmured something about some people thinking Vitamin E helped, but he didn't believe it did.

He then added that he didn't think any of the other treatments worked either. It was at this point that I began to feel a bit desperate. And the truth is, you have to learn to live with it. At the very least if you want to look into some medical treatment, you need to find an absolute expert on the condition. It isn't something you can leave to the run of the mill urologist who isn't up-to-date with the latest research findings."

So, to make sure you are up-to-date, have a look at some of these references before you see your doctor:

Peyronie's Disease Help The man behind this site claims to have cured his Peyronie's with alternative therapy.

Penile implants are the very very last resort for a guy who not only has Peyronie's but is impotent as well. Many guys actually don't need any treatment at all, and in some the condition spontaneously resolves itself.

Verapamil is one substance used to treat this condition, but I think it's true to say the jury is still out on whether or not it works in all cases. It's less likely to work the harder the plaque of tissue in the penis has become. The respected Mayo clinic has this to say about it. And just to prove they're right, here's another medical site. The most detailed information may come from the book listed here, but it is probably only useful to fanatics or doctors. Mind you, having a bent willy may make you a fanatic.

Now, knowing the medics can't cure it is all very well, but what about the problem of living with it? Well, my friend tells me that he only found relief when he joined a support group, so you might wish to search on the internet for "Peyronie's support group". Good luck!

My testicle is tender

Q: I have developed a tender area on my testicle. My penis feels fine, I can ejaculate normally, and I can pee as well as ever, but there's definitely a tender area that is sore to the touch. What is it, and should I see a doctor?

A: First things first. Whenever you have an unexplained pain in your penis and/or testicles, you should see a doctor. The chances of something like this being serious are very slim, but no matter how remote, it's worth ruling out problems like testicular cancer, inguinal hernia (when a loop of gut breaks out of its protective coating and falls downwards into the scrotum), or epididymitis (inflammation of, surprisingly enough, the epididymis).

Links to articles on these subjects:

Inguinal hernia
Epididymitis (complex medical article)

If you want some information on the anatomy and welfare of the testicles, there's a page on this very site which has all the information and links you might need.

There are other things that can go wrong with the testicles, including varicocele and hydrocele. Who was it said that it was mostly women who had problems "down there"?!


Penis Problems: My glans is extremely sensitive

Q: I am uncircumcised, with a long foreskin that normally covers my the whole of my penis head (glans) and retracts normally during masturbation. But I've never had my hand on the actual penis-head when I masturbate, because it is so, so sensitive, I can't bear to have it touched. This was alright as long as I was on my own, but now I am in a relationship and we've started to have sex.

I read that when you use a condom, you have to pull back your foreskin, but when I do, my penis is so sensitive I either come in about two seconds or I can't bear the pressure when I'm going in and out of her. We even tried sex with my penis naked - she's now on the pill - and that was OK while I was inside her, but after I came, even the slightest movement she made before I took my penis out of her was almost painful. Please help - just about the only thing we can do at the moment is gentle oral sex, with her sucking my penis.

A: Well, I doubt it's any comfort, but you aren't alone. Many men find that after they ejaculate their penis is extremely sensitive and they can't bear to have it touched. And often men who start masturbating or having sex with their glans exposed, after a lifetime of having it covered by a foreskin, find that they are over-sensitive. 

The usual answer that most people give to this question is, "Don't worry, your penis will get less sensitive as time goes by." However, though that may be true, it hardly helps you right now. I'm also wondering why you were OK when you had sex without a condom as long as you were inside her, but you couldn't use a condom comfortably.

If the friction of your glans on the condom is too great, you might try adding some artificial lubricant to the inside of the condom - something like Probe or Astroglide, which you can get at the chemist or over the internet. This might reduce the friction between your penis and the condom and make it more comfortable for you. 

Another approach is to try exposing your glans a little bit more each day. Start by having your foreskin back for a few minutes inside your underwear. Gradually build this up each day - it certainly may be unpleasant at first but hopefully you can desensitize your penis quite quickly.

Other pages of penis problems

My penis is too large / too small
My foreskin is too tight
Problems with arousal
I can't get an erection
Urethral opening abnormal
Torn frenulum - breve
My penis is twisted
Erectile dysfunction
Penis problems solved!
Andropause & mid-life crisis
Penile problems & injuries
Yeast Infections
Sex addiction & obsession
Sexually transmitted infections
Testosterone declines with age

Other sections on the site

The penis, masculinity and sex
A Cultural History Of The Penis
Penile & Other Problems