What is Hypospadias?

Amid the joy that comes with having a baby, it can be quite stressful to discover that your baby boy has an abnormality, one in which may need surgery to correct.

In the case of hypospadias, a condition where the opening of the urethra (the tube that carries urine and sperm outside the body) is located on the underside of the penis instead of the tip, you are not alone.

Each year about 1 of every 200 boys born in the U.S. have hypospadias. While surgery is the most common treatment, the outlook for infants is excellent with the majority making a full recovery.

Here is what you need to know about how this common issue is caused, diagnosed and treated.

Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment

During pregnancy, between nine and 12 weeks, male hormones tell the body to form a urethra and foreskin. Hypospadias results when a malfunction occurs in the action of these hormones, causing the urethra to develop abnormally.

Once the baby is born, doctors will usually diagnose hypospadias during a physical exam.

In most cases, doctors will correct the issue with a surgery when the baby is between 3-18 months old. In fact, surgeons have been correcting hypospadias since the late 1800s. The operation typically includes:

  • placing the opening of the urethra in the right place
  • correcting the curve in the penis
  • repairing the skin around the opening of the urethra

If you suspect your son has hypospadias, seek an evaluation from a pediatric urologist.

(Adapted from the CDC and the Urology Care Foundation)

 

Keep up with Children’s Urology news by following us on Facebook.