I would not blame you for choking on your breakfast upon reading the headline of this week’s article. Before you start writing in to complain about me crossing the line, asking a too provocative question in a conservative society, let me assure you I am referring to the geometrical straightness of a man’s sexual organ. If you were even thought I was addressing issues on sexuality, you should really examine how your imagination takes you completely off tangent.

Sidney Poitier, the first African American actor to win the Academy Award for Best Actor once said: “I know how easy it is for one to stay well within moral, ethical and legal bounds through the skilful use of words, and thereby spin, sidestep, circumvent or bend of a truth completely out of shape. To that extent, we are all liars on numerous occasions.”

So, without the “skilful use of words and spin”, lets get straight to the point and answer this question: Is it normal and natural for a man to have curvature of his manhood?

How the curvature of the male external genitalia is a “bend of a truth” and “completely out of shape” is the topic of our discussion today.

Dear Dr. G,

I am a 32 year-old man and I am a bit concerned about my manhood. I am happily married to my 30-year-old wife and she is expecting our second child at the moment. We have a very loving and healthy active sexual relationship. Obviously, with my wife being pregnant for the last six months, my sexual activity has been confined to moments of “self indulgence”.

The worrying thing is, during these activities, I noticed a bend upwards of my penis which I had not noticed before. To be fair, I never really paid much attention to this before. I would like to know whether curvature of the penis is normal? Is this curvature congenital? Isn’t the organ supposed to be straight?

When does curvature of the penis become a problem? And what degree of curvature is perceived to be pathological? I read somewhere this is associated to trauma of the penis. I do confess, regrettably, I did engage in regular self-indulgence in my youth. Do you think I am suffering “repetitive strain injury”?

Thanks for addressing my anxiety.

Yours truly,

The famous quote from George Orwell’s Animal Farm states: “ All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” In reality, when referring to all organs in our body, there is no such thing as equal size and shapes. In fact, erectile tissues in the penis are made up of two cylindrical-shaped structures that trap the blood entering the organ during arousal. Anatomically, the penis will slightly curve upwards with full engorgement of blood.

Congenital bends of the penis are also not unusual. Slight upward and downward curves of the organ may occur in the conditions known as epispadias and hypospadias, respectively. These are usually defects which occur during intra-uterine fusion of the sexual organs. Effects of these imperfections though are mild and most men do not even notice the difference.

The curvature of the penis becomes pathological in a condition termed Peyronie’s Disease. In this condition, fibrous scar tissue develops under the skin of the penis on the tunica albuginea erectile structures. This connective tissue disorder is surprisingly common and affects up to 5% of adult male population.

The effects of Peyronie’s Disease are usually mild, causing slight curvature and discomfort. However, in severe cases, painful plaque and an excessive bend can result in erectile dysfunction and the inability to engage in penetrative sex.

Although trauma or injury to the penis is well documented as being associated with Peyronie’s Disease, in most sufferers, the causes of this condition are unidentified. Some men are concerned that the frequency and vigorousness of “self-pleasure” may be the main cause of Peyronie’s Disease. In reality, there has been no association between masturbation and this condition.

As most men only have mild deformity of the penis that is hardly noticeable, and the fact that it has absolutely no impact on sexual performance, no treatment is warranted. Many oral and surgical interventions have been described for the treatments of abnormal curvature of the penis. So far, the efficacy of the therapy has been inconsistent. Some may even be controversial.

The American Christian televangelist author Robert Schuller once said: “What appears to be the end of the road may simply be a bend in the road.”

So why worry when the slight bend of the penis is just a variation rather than the destruction of the norm. For most men, this will not mean the end of the road of your sex life, but simply part of the journey.

Albert Camus, the French Nobel Prize winning author and philosopher is knowns for having contributed to the school of philosophy known as “absurdism”. This is a school of thought which states that the efforts of humanity to find inherent meaning will ultimately fail.

So Lee, don’t worry about how straight are you? or why this is happening to you. As long as the organ is functioning well, everything else is irrelevant.

Camus also famously said: “Blessed are the hearts that can bend; they shall never be broken”. Dr G’s saying is: “The hard that is not broken is the bend that is blessed”.

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