What is a congenital curvature of the penis?

A congenital penile curvature is caused by an uneven development of the two chambers that form the penis. This ultimately causes the erect penis to bend towards the aspect that has developed less. From this point of view, congenital penile curvature is quite similar to acquired penile curvature or Peyronie’s Disease, as in both cases there is a convex, longer and a concave, shorter aspect of the shaft penis. However, in case of congenital penile curvature, the asymmetry is due to an uneven development of the chambers of the penis while in Peyronie’s Disease the scarring associated with the plaque causes shortening of one aspect of the penile shaft. Congenital penile curvature usually becomes apparent during adolescence, when the chambers of the penis develop at the highest pace. Fortunately, most of the congenital penile curvatures are minor and do not interfere with penetrative sexual intercourse. Only a minority of congenital curvatures are so severe to require surgical correction.

Although congenital penile curvature may point virtually in any direction, in most cases the penis bends downward; in this case the curvature is called ventral. Ventral curvatures may present in isolation or together with anomalies of the penile urethra (the waterpipe). In congenital penile curvature the deformity can render penetrative sexual intercourse difficult or impossible and therefore can be cause of embarrassment and distress.

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