Hypospadias is a problem with how the penis develops before birth. The meatus is the opening that urine passes through. It should be on the tip of the penis. When the opening develops on the underside of the penis it is called hypospadias.
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Hypospadias develops before a child is born. The exact cause is not known.
Things that increase the chance of a baby having hypospadias are:
- Family history of hypospadias
- Mother being older or having in vitro fertilization
- Mother is exposed to harmful items in environment during pregnancy
- Fetus has growth problems during the pregnancy
The abnormal location of opening will be visible. Other symptoms may include:
- Curve of the penis—called chordee
- Abnormal spray when passing urine
- Foreskin only covers part of the head of the penis
The doctor can see hypospadias during a physical exam. It is often diagnosed at birth.
Mild hypospadia may not need treatment. If it is causing problems passing urine, then surgery may be done. The goals of surgery are to:
- Reconstruct the opening of the urethra
- Straighten a curved penis
Skin from the foreskin or inside of the mouth may be used to rebuild the area.
There are no current guidelines to prevent hypospadias.
- Hypospadias. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/hypospadias.
- Hypospadias: a birth defect of the penis. Healthy Children—Academy of Pediatrics website. Available at: https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/genitourinary-tract/Pages/hypospadias-a-birth-defect-of-the-penis.aspx.
- Tekgul S, Dogan HS, Kocvara R, et al; European Society for Paediatric Urology and European Association of Urology (ESPU/EAU). Guidelines on Paediatric Urology. EAU 2017 Mar.
- Kari Kuenn, MD
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