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Smartphone app helps doctors monitor men's sexual health problems

Monday, June 10, 2013 by: Katie BrindAmour
Tags: smartphone, sexual health, peyronie''s disease

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(NaturalNews) - Although the exact prevalence is not known, estimates suggest Peyronie's disease may affect at least 3% of adult men. A common symptom of this disease is erectile disfunction, but the condition is characterized by growth of plaque that causes the penis to curve, narrow, or shorten. Recently, researchers at the University of Washington developed a smartphone application that may help individuals with Peyronie's disease track their condition and share information with their doctors.

The app, called the University of Washington Peyronie's Examination Network (UWPEN), is designed to help men capture images of the disease's progress without having to be physically probed or measured. Most men must adopt a "watch and wait" attitude toward treatment of the condition. Only when the plaque or scar tissue progresses past the mildest form of the disease do most doctors initiate treatments with injections or drugs that attack the fibrous tissue build-up. If the disease continues to progress, surgery is an option.

Progress for Peyronie's disease

A recent trial in Germany examined the potential of a new surgery technique to be used as a treatment option for Peyronie's disease. This technique removes the plaque and, in most men, can result in a straight penis after the grafting is completed.

According to Healthline, Peyronie's disease is more than just a physical change in the appearance of the penis - it can impact a man's emotional and sexual health. Peyronie's disease can make intercourse embarrassing, painful, or even physically impossible. Men of any age can be affected by Peyronie's disease, particularly if they also have plaque in their hands and feet that causes tightening of the ligaments. The condition becomes more common as men age, however, and it can compound an aging man's chances of experiencing erectile dysfunction.

Men with a recent diagnosis or a suspected case of Peyronie's may soon have the opportunity to track their condition in the privacy of their own homes with the UWPEN app. In addition, the German surgery trial may offer new treatment hope for men with advanced Peyronie's disease, provided its effects last long term. Relief from pain, awkwardness, impotence, and a deformed penis may allow men with Peyronie's to enjoy the sex life and confidence they did prior to the appearance of symptoms.

Sources for this article include:

http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/kudiseases/pubs/peyronie/

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23551808

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23446807

http://www.healthline.com

About the author:
Katie BrindAmour is a Certified Health Education Specialist and passionate health and wellness freelance writer. She enjoys cooking, yoga, gardening, searching for the perfect wine and chocolate combination, and spending time with friends. She has a Masters in Biology and is currently pursuing her PhD in Health Services Management and Policy. She also enjoys blogging for Women's Healthcare Topics and Healthline Networks.
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