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What is hypospadias?

Hypospadias is a birth defect in which the urethra's opening hole is not on the tip of the penis. It may be located underside of the penis, head of the penis, along the shaft, or on the scrotum. The urethra is the tube that carries urine and sperm through the penis and drains them out of the body. It doesn't create complications so generally, it is left untreated. Though a doctor can do surgery if required to fix the problem.

This condition can cause problems with urinating, cleaning, and sexual intercourse.

What are the types of Hypospadias?

Types are described based on the urethral opening:

  • In glandular hypospadias, the opening of the urethra is located on the head of the penis instead of the tip. It could be left untreated as it doesn't misdirect urination. A sexual erection could be done with a curved penis.
  • In subcoronal hypospadias, the opening of the urethra is located near the head of the penis. With a little adjustment, urination and sexual function can be done.
  • In the midshaft, the opening is along the penis shaft.
  • In penoscrotal, the opening is located where the shaft meets the scrotum.

What are the symptoms?

Signs and symptoms of hypospadias in children include:

  • Opening of the urethra at other location than the tip of the penis
  • The downward curve of the penis
  • The head of the penis is not covered completely
  • Urine spraying is not in a straight direction

What are the Causes & Risk Factors?

The urethra defects occur during pregnancy. Hypospadias occurs because of malfunctioning of the certain hormones that form the urethra. This may lead to the abnormally developed or underdeveloped urethra in a baby's penis. There are certain risk factors that are associated with the disorder:

  • A family history of hypospadias carries some genetic syndromes which increase the risk in a family male.
  • Mother's age and weight increase the risk of hypospadias in infant male
  • Fertility treatment and specific hormones therapy increase the risk of malfunctioning of internal hormones
  • Exposure to smoking, pesticides, or industrial chemicals increase the risk

How is it diagnosed?

Paediatricians usually diagnose the condition of a new-born soon after birth. It's a routine new-born examination so dislocation of the urethra opening can be repaired after the birth. Hypospadias repair surgery corrects the opening in the penis and gives it a normal appearance.

What are the treatment options?

Mild hypospadias with no curvature in the penis doesn't requires any surgery. Some complicated cases of hypospadias require surgical repair. Surgery can correct curvature of the penis, straightens the penis, reconstructs the urethra, and create an opening of the urethra at the tip of the penis. Surgery is performed when a child is between six and 12 months old. After surgery, prescribed antibiotics are given to the baby to prevent infection.

If hypospadias is not treated, abnormal curvature and dislocation of the urethra opening create difficulties in urination and sexual function.


Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital

Address: Rao Saheb, Achutrao Patwardhan Marg, Four Bungalows, Andheri West, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400053

Phone: +91-98 88 66 22 00

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