Low Testosterone and Peyronie’s Disease

Testosterone levels don’t appear to affect the severity of Peyronie’s disease, according to researchers from the University of North Carolina.

When a man has Peyronie’s disease, his penis develops a distinct curve that can interfere with sexual intercourse. The bend is caused by areas of hardened scar tissue called plaques, which make the penis less flexible. Peyronie’s disease can be painful and it prevents some men from having intercourse at all.

The exact cause of Peyronie’s disease isn’t known, but many experts believe that the plaques result from an injury that doesn’t heal properly.

Men with Peyronie’s disease may also have problems getting erections, a condition called erectile dysfunction (ED).

Because low testosterone is common with both Peyronie’s disease and ED, the researchers wanted to learn more about its role.

One hundred eighty-five men participated in the study. Eighty-seven of them had Peyronie’s disease. The rest had ED. (None of the men had both Peyronie’s disease and ED at the same time, however.) On average, the men were in their mid-fifties.

The researchers were particularly interested in two issues.

First, they wanted to compare the testosterone levels of men with Peyronie’s disease with those of men with ED.

The men gave blood samples and their testosterone levels were checked. Levels below 300 ng/dL were classified as low. (Click here to learn more about testosterone measurements.)

The researchers discovered little difference in the testosterone levels for the two groups. The average level for the men with Peyronie’s disease was 328 ng/dL. For those with ED, the average was 332 ng/dL.

Second, the researchers wanted to know whether testosterone levels affected the severity of Peyronie’s disease.

They measured the degree of curve and the size of plaques for each man with Peyronie’s disease. Then, they considered these results based on whether the men had low or normal testosterone levels.

But there were no significant differences. Even after accounting for high blood pressure, diabetes, drinking and smoking habits, and hyperlipidemia, the men’s curvature and plaque size measurements were similar.

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The study was first published online in January in The Journal of Sexual Medicine.


The Journal of Sexual Medicine

Kirby, E. Will, MD, et al.

“Low Testosterone Has a Similar Prevalence among Men with Sexual Dysfunction Due to Either Peyronie's Disease or Erectile Dysfunction and Does Not Correlate with Peyronie's Disease Severity”

(Full-text. First published online: January 8, 2015)