The penis is a wonderful organ, but most men aren’t intimately familiar with the various anatomical parts of that organ and their functions. A more precise understanding of the penis can help to better understand one’s penile health. For example, many men who have a significantly bent penis – a condition known as Peyronie’s disease – may not know that their problem centers on the tunica albuginea.
Tunica albuginea 101
To learn about the tunica albuginea, it’s necessary to know a little about basic penis anatomy. Inside the penis are three cylinders. Two of these are the corpora cavernosa (which means cavernous bodies); and a third, much smaller cylinder is known as the corpus spongiosum, which lies underneath the corpora cavernosa. All three of these cylinders consist of a spongy tissue. Each of the corpus cavernosum are lined with a thin layer of tissue called the tunica albuginea. It may help to picture a hot dog. The outer skin casing is like the tunica albuginea, while the inner “meat” of the hot dog is like the corpus cavernosum.
When the penis becomes erect, the spongy tissue of the corpora cavernosa absorbs a greater flow of blood. This causes them to expand and harden. The tunica albuginea contain a fair amount of elastin, which enables them to expand as well, so they can “keep up” with the corpora cavernosa.
Bent penis problem
As we mentioned, Peyronie’s disease is a situation in which a man possesses a significantly bent penis, where the curve causes pain and/or penis function issues. In most cases, this bending occurs due to a problem with the tunica albuginea.
Peyronie’s disease comes about most often because of scar tissue developing in the penis. This frequently happens when there is trauma. It may be a one-time traumatic event, such as getting hit in the penis by a baseball, or it may be due to numerous small traumatic events, such as rough handling of the penis during sex or masturbation.
Very often, this scarring takes place in the tunica albuginea. The scar tissue is part of the healing process, but it does not have the elasticity necessary for an organ that changes size, as the penis does. When there is too much scar tissue, it overcomes the natural elasticity of the tunica albuginea. When the penis starts to become erect, the side of the penis with scar tissue cannot expand as much as the rest of the penis. Thus, the organ bends.
In addition to causing a bent penis, this scarring may prevent the corpora cavernosa from filling up with as much blood as they would otherwise. This can result in erectile function challenges.
If a man has a severely bent penis, he should consult with his doctor, especially if it causes pain or interferes with sex. Sometimes, a bent penis resolves on its own. When it doesn’t, there are several medication options, including surgery.
Often, a bent penis, whether due to a scarred tunica albuginea or for other reasons, may become overly sore. Regular application of a top drawer penis health crème (health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil, which is clinically proven mild and safe for skin) may help reduce soreness. Seek out a crème that contains soothing moisturizing ingredients, such as shea butter and vitamin E. In addition, take pains to find a crème that also includes L-carnitine. A bent penis may sometimes result in de-sensitization of the penis. L-carnitine has neuroprotective properties that can help fight that unwelcome development.