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What are penis disorders?

Penis is the male copulatory organ, which is part of the male reproductive system. Penis disorders not only cause discomfort and pain, but also, affect a person’s sexual functions and may lead to fertility concerns. Some common penis conditions include erectile dysfunction, balanitis, priapism, Peyronie's disease, and rarely, penile cancer.

What are its main signs and symptoms?

The symptoms correspond to the underlying condition and hence, can be described accordingly.

  • Erectile dysfunction- This is the most common condition wherein there is difficulty or inability to keep a sustained erection.
  • Priapism is a painful condition in which the penis is erect for more than 4 hours.
  • Phimosis- In this condition, the foreskin of the penis gets too tight and is not able to retract manually leading to severe pain.
  • Peyronie's disease- In this disease, the inner lining of the penis develops hard lumps of scar tissue which leads to bending of the penis on one side while it is erect. Superficial skin disorders lead to rashes, itching, skin discolouration and ulcers of the penis.

What are the main causes?

  • Cause of priapism include certain medications, alcohol, injuries, spinal cord conditions.
  • Premature ejaculations are caused mainly due to performance anxiety, stress, and history of sexual suppression.
  • Phimosis is commonly seen in males who haven't undergone circumcision.
  • The exact cause of Peyronie’s disease is not known, but vasculitis, injuries, and hereditary causes are some linked factors.
  • Smoking and HPV (human papilloma virus) are important causes of penis cancer.

How is it diagnosed and treated?

Diagnosis is generally made by examining the penis and testes. To ensure that the person’s fertility is preserved, a routine sperm count and local sonography is done. Treatment depends on the cause.

  • Priapism is treated by draining the blood from the penis using a needle.
  • Phimosis often requires surgery.  
  • Peyronie's disease, if mild, heals by itself without any treatment within 15 months.
  • Penis cancer is treated with surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy.

Dealing with penis disorders can be traumatic and it can affect one’s emotional well- being.

Certain self-care tips help in preventing penile disorders and thereby, letting one live a healthy sexual life. These tips include

  • Keeping the penis clean
  • Getting genitals checked on a routine basis
  • Not having multiple sexual partners
  • Not wearing tight undergarments
  • Protecting the penis from extreme heat exposure
  • Quitting smoking

For timely diagnosis and treatment, a person should see the doctor immediately if there are any unusual changes on the penis.

  1. Medicines for Penis Disorders

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