If you’ve ever noticed that your penis is curved slightly to the left, right, up or down, you might have asked yourself whether or not this is normal.
The answer is yes. Just like your face and body aren’t perfectly symmetrical, it’s not abnormal for your penis to curve slightly to one direction. 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, feels painful or has a curve that negatively affects your sexual performance, you may be affected by an issue called Peyronie's disease.
It’s also possible to injure your penis during sex or other activities, which may cause a curve to develop.
Below, we’ve explained what Peyronie’s disease is and how it’s treated. We’ve also discussed the various factors that may contribute to a curve in your penis, from injuries that occur during sex or other activities to congenital factors that may make your penis curved.
Finally, we’ve talked about the treatment options that are available if you have a curved penis that’s affecting your sexual health or mental wellbeing.
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:
Your healthcare provider may suggest that you undergo surgery to fix penile curvature if you:
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.