Can mountain biking cause Peyronie's disease?
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Hello, I am a 49 year old male in excellent health. I workout regularly by mountain biking, running, lifting weights and playing basketball. I'm 5'11" and 165 pounds. I take loratidine for pollen allergies and propecia. For work, I am an optometrist. Recently, a patient of mine was commenting that I was looking trim and fit. I told him about mountain biking and advised him to try it. Subsequently, he confided in me that he was being treated for Peyronie's disease and that his physician had asked if was a biker and warned him about bike seats. I did some of my own research to learn of this condition as my patient is a realtor and not a health professional and had no further reliable information. In my research, I learned that Peyronie's is a basement membrane disorder that leads to plaque formation and some scarring and loss of flexibility. These symptoms are often also noticed in the patients hands and feet as well. It apears to be a genetic condition, but can also present secondary to an injury. It does not appear to have anything to do with bike riding, as my patient suggested. However, i have upgraded my seat and it is much more comfortable! Which finally leads me to my question... In my research an excessively curved or bent penis is a sign of Peyronie's. I have a slight bend to my penis when it is erect, but I am wondering if it a normal curve or possibly a problem or sign of things to come? I have no problems with ED and no discomfort at all. I am just looking for a little "peace of mind" here, so how do I know if my slight curve is normal? I took a couple of photos to help with examination. Thanks in advance for your help!! XXXXXXX
Posted Thu, 27 Mar 2014 in Urinary and Bladder Problems
Answered by Dr. V. Sasanka 9 hours later
Brief Answer: No major issue Detailed Answer: Hi, I had a look at the pictures you have uploaded, and while there is a curvature of your phallus which is not normal, as long as you are able to have a satisfactory erection which is pleasurable for you and your partner, such minor curvatures need no further treatment. Peyronie's disease is different in the sense the erection that is achieved is associated with pain in its initial stages and more curvature than is normally seen which makes intercourse prohibitive. Usually the patients also mention that they can feel a hard induration below the skin of the penis, usually on the same side as the curvature. Also, Peyronie's disease has no specific relation to biking. The cause of peyronie's is not known exactly, and could be due to minor trauma during sexual intercourse which has been ignored. as you have noted in your research, it could also be associated with other conditions like dupytren's contractures which affect hands and feet. Bicycle driving for prolonged hours can lead to erectile dysfunction meaning a reduction in the capability to have an erection hard enough for satisfactory intercourse. This could be due to damage to 'pudendal' nerve and vessels which lie close to the seat when you are riding the bike. Some patients have actually said that they can feel their glans penis going numb after a long ride, and these are the people who are more likely to have such issues. If you have adjusted your seat in a way that there is no discomfort, I see no reason why you should discontinue your bike riding. Also, your curvature appears to be a normal variant, and you certainly need not be anxious about this at all. Hope I have been able to clarify your doubts.
Follow-up: Can mountain biking cause Peyronie's disease? 13 hours later
Hello Dr Sasanka, Thank you for your answer to my concern. I just have a couple of other questions. First, in your opening sentence, you mentioned the curve was abnormal but minor and not requiring any treatment. Then, in your final sentence, you mentioned that my curvature appears to be a normal variant and nothing to be anxious about. I like that! But, is it a normal variant or abnormal? Also, I read online that a fairly high percentage of men have some curvature, anywhere form 1/3 to 1/2 of men. In you experience, do you think that is accurate? Also, I have read that tight underwear (which I wore "tight whites" in my youth but now I use boxer briefs that are slightly snug but not tight) can cause curvature. Is there any truth to that?Also, can masturbating with only one hand ( I have always only used my left hand, for some reason) cause curvature? I hope that this is not "too much information"...I just want to be as healthy and happy as possible in that area! I have noticed the slight curve for many years and I was certainly not concerned at all until very recently. I have even had some ladies compliment me on it! I also read that by doing some gentle massaging and pushing around the curve when the penis is partially correct can straighten it out, so to speak. In your experience, does that work? I also read that skin and anatomical variants in the penis can result in these minor curves as well. Thanks for the information on Peyronies and on biking and bike seats. I have no hardness at all in my penis, or symptoms of Dupytrens, so I really don't think I have much risk for that. And my bike seat seems very good and I have never had any penile numbness, so I think I am in good shape there! Thanks again for your help and professionalism...peace of mind is a great thing!!
Answered by Dr. V. Sasanka 9 hours later
Brief Answer: Minor degrees of curvature are normal, acceptable Detailed Answer: Hi again, You are right when you mentioned that many men have some degree of curvature. And that is also what I meant when I said that minor degrees of curvature are normal and acceptable variants. Having a curvature is unusual (in that majority of men do not have curvature. I think your stats are right, mostly less than 30%) but needs treatment only when it is such that penetration is difficult or painful. I treat the others where the curvature is marked or painful when I can ensure the patient has a satisfactory quality of life. This is important because correcting minor curvatures is no big deal, but the surgery could result in the patients losing some penile length - we call this penile shortening. In patients who have a self-image of short or small penis or where the curvature is not markedly prominent, such a surgery could be a disaster, and therefore when I find that the patient can anyway indulge in satisfactory intercourse without any pain, and is also able to satisfy his partner, I do not advocate any other remedial measure except to reassure him, as I had hoped to reassure you :-) To answer your other questions, I doubt if tight underwear can cause such curvatures and masturbation with any hand should be perfectly OK, and I have never encountered any cause per se of the curvatures. Mostly, you are born with it, and most people are quite happy in their conjugal life despite such congenital curvatures. I doubt if attempts to straighten it would work and would in fact warn you against it - you could do more damage. if your partners have even gone to the extent of complimenting you, you are one lucky man ;-)