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How To Get My Husband To See A Doctor About Peyronie's Disease
Hello, my husband has pd (1 year). Started with ed symptoms and then self diagnosed pd from symptoms. Symptoms I as wife know are painful erection, difficulty urinating, scar tissue, curve during erection.
He won't go to see a doctor to be officially diagnosed or try treatments. We have not been intimate in a year and he won't let me see him naked anymore. He finally opened up to me and told me he believes treatments won't work and he can't be helped. He believes his is past any hope and that has really hurt his self image and caused him to feel depressed. I think he won't go to the doctor because he's afraid they will say it's permanent and nothing will help at all.
Do you have any suggestions on how to get him to go to a doctor and try treatments?
I have already told him that I support him and that I don't see him any differently. I even told him that I just want intimacy with him not just sex and that nothing will change the way I see him and feel about him. He has completely shut me out from all intimacy and connection with him. I want to help him but he won't let me.
My Peyronie's Answer
I'm very sorry to hear about your husband's reaction because he is extremely lucky to have such a lovely supportive wife. Your reaction is spot on, I don't think you could have handled this any better (What Can You Do As A Partner?).
His reaction is though both understandable and very common, especially in the beginning. Getting Peyronie's is very difficult for any man. It affects most men's self image badly and depression is very common among men with Peyronie's (one research showed that 48% of Peyronie's patients had clinical depression that warranted medical evaluation).
Even though your support is vital for your husband, no one can help him except himself. He really needs to go and see a doctor, get formal diagnosis and start some form of a treatment. You know this and he knows this. So how can you get him to go to see a doctor? This is a tricky one!
What you need to help him to understand is that there is hope. Even though there is no cure for Peyronie's there are number of treatment options available and the sooner men seek help the more options they have and the better results they can expect to get.
If it's only a year since your husband noticed his first symptoms then he may still be in the acute phase of the disease (usually lasts between 12-18 months). But even if he has reached the stable phase there are still treatment options available to him (and on the plus side, if he has reached the stable phase his condition will not progress further).
This article compares the most common treatment options today and contains direct links for further information. Hopefully it can help your husband to identify which options may be suitable for him. Treatment for Peyronie's disease is about addressing the penis curvature but there are also number of successful treatment options for erectile dysfunction.
So there is definitely hope for him BUT almost certainly only if he does something about his situation (5-15% of cases get better without any treatment but the odds are too low to count on that in my opinion).
You can only try to get this message across to him and encourage him to do his "homework" and read about the different treatment options. It can also help him to realize that he is not alone, there are so many men out there dealing with similar condition, and many have managed to improve their condition and / or learn to live with it.
He also needs to realize that he may be putting his marriage at risk if he is not careful. Peyronie's has unfortunately ruined many relationships but it has also made many relationships stronger. It's up to you two in which category your marriage will fall… and I know you have everything it takes to make your marriage stronger. Does he?
I personally believe that the glue that keeps relationships together through Peyronie's is to communicate clearly and to stay intimate throughout (and you are spot on there are so many ways to stay intimate other than sex). So I'm concerned about the lack of intimacy and lack of communication though it is great that he has finally opened up to you. That is a vital step that gives hope for the future.
There is a famous saying that sounds something like “Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional”. This in many ways fits Peyronie's well. Yes, the penis and sex life may never be exactly the same as before. But if your husband acts now, he may be able to minimize the effect Peyronie's will have on his and your life. It's not going to be easy, neither physically or mentally BUT it does not have to ruin his life... unless he let it.
And this is why your husband needs to see a doctor. Because there is hope. There are things that may help him, or at least help him to learn to live with his condition. And because he is a lucky man to have such a supportive wife and they are "worth their weight in gold". And because he does not want Peyronie's to ruin is life… and there is no reason to let it do so.