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Congenital penile curvature

Congenital penile curvature

Source: European Association of Urology (EAU) guidelines on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 2022.

Congenital penile curvature (CPC) is a rare condition, with a reported incidence of < 1%, although some studies have reported higher prevalence rates of 4-10%.

Congenital penile curvature results from disproportionate development of the internal structures inside the penis (tunica albuginea of the corporal bodies). In most cases, the penile bend is downwards (ventral), but it can also be sideward (lateral) and, more rarely, dorsal (penis bent up).

Patients usually present after reaching puberty as the bend (curvature) becomes more apparent with erections, and more severe curvatures can make intercourse difficult or impossible. Physical examination during erection (alternatively photographic or preferably after penile injection of vasoactive drugs) is important to document the curvature and exclude other conditions.

Surgery (penile plication) is the only treatment option, which can be deferred until after puberty and can be performed at any time in adult life in individuals with significant functional impairment during intercourse.