What is hypospadias?


Know the basics

What is hypospadias?

Hypospadias is a congenital condition (present at birth) that occurs when a boy’s urethra appears on the underside of the penis. Normally the urethra appears at the end (head) of the penis. The urethra is the tube that takes urine from the bladder out of the body through the penis. Hypospadias can be mild to severe, depending on where the urethra opens.

How common is hypospadias?

Hypospadias is a rare condition. It affects about 4 out of 1000 newborn boys. Please discuss with your doctor for further information.

Know the symptoms

What are the symptoms of hypospadias?

The common sign and symptom of hypospadias is the opening of the urethra is not at the head of the penis. Other signs and symptoms include:

  • The urethra appears near the head of the penis;
  • The urethra appears at the base of the penis (this is rare);
  • The penis has a downward curve;
  • Abnormal spraying during urination.

 There may be some signs or symptoms not listed above. If you have any concerns about a symptom, please consult your doctor.

When should I see my doctor?

Most infants with hypospadias are diagnosed soon after birth while still in the hospital.

However, it is possible that less severe hypospadias may be overlooked. Call your doctor if you notice your son’s urethral opening is not at the tip of the penis, his foreskin is not fully developed or his penis curves downward.

Know the causes

What causes hypospadias?

The cause of hypospadias is unknown. It is a congenital condition that affects male newborns. Genetic, endocrine and environmental factors may play a role in the cause. Please discuss with you doctor for more information.

Know the risk factors

What increases my risk for hypospadias?

Certain factors may increase your risk of developing hypospadias:

  • Family history.This condition is more common in infants with a family history of hypospadias.
  • Maternal age over 40.Some research suggests that there may be an increased risk of hypospadias in infant males born to women of an advanced age.
  • Exposure to smoking and chemicals.There is some speculation about an association between a mother’s exposure to pesticides and hypospadias, but further studies are needed to confirm this.

You should consult your doctor for more details.

Understand the diagnosis & treatment

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.

How is hypospadias diagnosed?

The doctor can make a diagnosis from a medical history and physical examination. The urologist may do more tests to make most accurate diagnosis.

How is hypospadias treated?

Treatment options for hypospadias, usually involves surgery.

Surgery is best performed at a young age, usually between 3 months and 18 months. The reason is to avoid any traumatic stress. But surgery can be done at any age.

During surgery, the doctor makes a new opening by reconstructing with tissue grafts from the foreskin or tissue from inside the mouth. The surgery usually takes about 1 to 3 hours while the child is unconscious with general anesthesia.

If hypospadias isnot treated, problems may occur during toilet training or sex in adulthood. Urethral strictures and fistulas may also develop.

Lifestyle changes & home remedies

What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage hypospadias?

The following lifestyles and home remedies might help you cope with hypospadias:

  • Tell your doctor about your child’s medical problems
  • Use two diapers after surgery, one to collect stool and one to collect urine from the catheter.
  • Keep your child’s penis clean. If stool gets on the wound, rinse the area with clear water.
  • Call your child’s doctor right away if after surgery your child has fever, pus coming from the penis, no urine coming from the penis for more than 1 hour, or urine squirting form any part on the penis.
  • Call your doctor right away or go to the emergency room if after surgery your child has bleeding from his penis that doesnot stop.

If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Review Date: May 30, 2016 | Last Modified: January 4, 2017

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