Going on a date is nerve racking at the best of times. What to wear, where to go, how to avoid awkward silences. You feel vulnerable and want to present your best possible self. But if you’re struggling with health issues, opening yourself up to the scrutiny of a stranger can be unbearable. For men who suffer from Peyronie’s Disease, this can put them off dating and relationships altogether.

You’ve probably never heard of Peyronie’s Disease. But, despite its low profile, tens of thousands of men across the UK are affected by this condition. And for many of them, it can mean the end of romantic relationships.

Peyronie’s Disease is a condition which causes curvature of the penis. Whilst just the idea of it might make you wince, it’s a painful reality for many. Few penises are completely straight, but this disease causes curvature which can make sex painful or even impossible. It’s estimated that as much as 3-7% of the global male population suffer with the disease.

For these men, many too shy to speak to their doctor, getting their kit off with someone new could cause not only shame and embarrassment, but real pain. A recent survey showed that a quarter of men with Peyronie’s said it had caused relationship troubles, with one in 10 saying it led to their relationships breaking down completely. In addition, one in four with the condition said they were no longer sexually active at all.

With a condition like this putting a huge dampener on confidence and making you wary of sex, you could end up turning your back on love altogether.

This is the unfortunate reality for many, but doesn’t have to be this way. Whilst many are led to believe otherwise, there are treatments available for Peyronie’s. Go straight to your GP if you have symptoms, as the sooner you seek treatment the better. It’s also important to separate the facts from the fiction with a condition like this. Further information can be found at www.thisispeyronies.co.uk.

So, if you’ve got Peyronie’s or another health condition, don’t suffer in silence. There is often help to be had, you just need to find the courage to ask for it.

And if your condition is permanent, remember, no-one is perfect. Remind yourself about all the positive qualities you have and don’t be afraid to get out there. You’ll find someone who will love you for you, imperfections included.