Medically reviewed by Kristin Hall, FNP
Written by Our Editorial Team
Last updated 12/11/2020
So, you've noticed your penis is a little curved, and you're here because you're wondering if it's normal.
We'll get straight to the answer: yes, it's normal. Just like your face and body aren’t perfectly symmetrical, it’s not abnormal for your penis to curve slightly to the left or right .
In fact, it’s fairly common — many men have a mild curve in their penis.
When your penis is only mildly curved and it doesn’t cause pain or affect your ability to perform in bed, there’s usually no need for you to be concerned.
It’s best to accept it as a quirk of your anatomy and focus on other, more important things.
However, if your penis has a severe curve, is noticeably bent in one direction, causes pain or discomfort or negatively affects your sexual performance, it's not okay and you should seek medical treatment.
Read on to learn more about penile curvature, Peyronie's disease and everything you should know about treating it.
It’s normal to have a slight curve in your penis. Your penis might curve to the left or the right when it’s erect, or fall to one side when it’s flaccid. A slightly curved penis usually isn’t an issue, provided it doesn’t cause pain, discomfort or sexual issues.
One common cause of penile curvature is Peyronie’s disease — a medical condition in which plaques form inside your penis, stiffening the tissue and causing it to bend when erect.
Sometimes, a curve may develop in the penis as the result of an injury. It’s possible to injure your penis during sexual activity or in an unrelated accident that causes damage to the tissue.
Some men are affected by congenital curvature, a type of penis curvature that’s present from birth. However, this is uncommon, affecting less than one percent of all men.
Not all penis curvature needs to be treated. However, if a curved penis is affecting your sexual, physical or mental health, it may be possible to correct the issue with a medical procedure.
Peyronie's disease is a disorder in which scar tissue forms in the tunica albuginea — the fibrous membrane of structural collagens that surrounds the tissue of your penis.
Your penis is made up of three cylinder-shaped areas. Two of these are masses of soft erectile tissue called the corpora cavernosa. These fill up with blood when you’re aroused, causing you to develop an erection.
The third is the urethra, which connects your bladder to your penis and discharges semen when you ejaculate.
The tunica albuginea covers all of this tissue, acting as a sort of fibrous envelope that’s wrapped around the cylindrical areas that carry out the important functions of your penis.
Your tunica albuginea is made up primarily of collagen and elastin — a type of protein that exists as fibers in connective tissue.
Elastin, as its name may suggest, is flexible and plays a key role in helping your tissue maintain its elasticity. It’s roughly 1,000 times more flexible than collagen, which is primarily responsible for providing structure for the tissue in your penis and other parts of your body.
Peyronie’s disease can cause scar tissue to develop in the tunica albuginea. This scar tissue is primarily made up of collagen, making it very firm.
In some cases, the scar tissue that develops in the tunica albuginea reaches the same structural thickness as bone.
When scar tissue forms in the tunica albuginea, it can cause your penis to bend when it’s erect, often by a significant amount.
Most men with Peyronie’s disease report that their penis bends upwards. However, Peyronie’s disease can also cause the penis to bend in other directions. Some men report several bends in different directions, as well as hourglass-shaped deformities caused by scar tissue.
Although medical experts aren’t exactly sure why Peyronie’s disease develops, many believe it could be due to penile injury.
Injuries that hit or bend the penis can damage the tissue, causing the scar tissue that’s common with Peyronie’s disease.
Penile injuries can happen during sexual intercourse, during accidents outside of the bedroom, during sports or in other situations.
Not all injuries to the penis are noticeable. Sometimes small, chronic micro-injuries to the penis may cause scar tissue to develop over time, gradually causing Peyronie’s disease and a curve in your penis.
Our full guide to Peyronie’s disease goes into greater detail about the causes and symptoms of Peyronie’s disease. It also lists treatments that are available, including medications you may be able to use if Peyronie’s disease is affecting your sexual performance.
Sometimes, penile curvature is something you’ll have from birth. This is known as congenital penile curvature. It’s a relatively rare condition, with an estimated one percent or less of men affected.
It is different from Peyronie’s Disease in that there is no scar tissue within the penis and it typically does not change over time.
Most men with congenital penile curvature first notice that their penis is curved during puberty or early adulthood.
When mild, penile curvature usually doesn’t require treatment. However, more severe congenital penile curvature may affect your sexual performance or self-image.
Not all cases of penile curvature require treatment.
If you have Peyronie’s disease or congenital penile curvature that doesn’t cause any pain or affect your sexual performance, your healthcare provider may simply suggest doing nothing.
Although it’s rare, Peyronie’s disease sometimes goes away on its own without any need for treatment.
If your penile curvature does require treatment, a variety of options are available. These include nonsurgical treatments such as medications and devices, as well as surgical procedures to get rid of plaque and fix penile curvature.
Several nonsurgical treatments are available for Peyronie’s disease and other causes of penile curvature. These include injections to break down plaques and physical treatments to bend or reshape the penis into a neutral, less curved shape:
Collagenase. Collagenase, sold under the brand name Xiaflex®, is an enzyme that breaks down plaques when injected into tissue. It’s the only FDA-approved treatment for Peyronie’s disease and is used in men with a penile curvature of 30 degrees or more.
Interferon-alpha 2b. An antiviral and antineoplastic medication, interferon is a protein that’s made from white blood cells. When injected into penile tissue, it may reduce the size of plaques, lower pain and straighten the penis.
Verapamil. Verapamil is an injectable medication that’s typically used to treat angina and high blood pressure. It may also help to reduce pain and curvature in men with Peyronie’s disease.
Vacuum and traction devices. These devices are designed to physically stretch the penis into a certain shape. You may need to wear the device for a set amount of time over the course of the day to stretch or bend the penis and reduce curvature.
Your healthcare provider may suggest that you undergo surgery to fix penile curvature if you:
Experience pain during sex or when you have an erection.
Have symptoms that haven’t improved over time.
Physically can’t have sex due to your penile curvature.
Several different surgical procedures are used to treat penile curvature caused by Peyronie’s disease.
These include grafting tissue from other parts of your body into the penis to replace areas of plaque and plication, a type of tissue removal that may straighten your penis.
If you have Peyronie’s disease and erectile dysfunction, your healthcare provider may suggest the use of a penile implant to straighten the penis when erect.
It’s far from uncommon to have a small amount of curvature to your penis.
However, if you have a significantly curved penis, or if your penis’s curvature makes sex painful or difficult, it’s best to talk to your healthcare provider.
From medications to surgical procedures, a variety of treatments are available to reduce penile curvature and improve your quality of life.
Your healthcare provider will work with you to choose the best option for your needs, lifestyle and general health.