Hypospadias (hi-poe-SPAY-dee-us) is a birth defect (congenital condition) in which the opening of the urethra is on the underside of the penis instead of at the tip. The urethra is the tube through which urine drains from your bladder and exits your body.
Hypospadias is common and doesn't cause difficulty in caring for your infant. Surgery usually restores the normal appearance of your child's penis. With successful treatment of hypospadias, most males can have normal urination and reproduction.
In hypospadias, the opening of the urethra is located on the underside of the penis instead of at the tip. In most cases, the opening of the urethra is within the head of the penis. Less often, the opening is at the middle or the base of the penis. Rarely, the opening is in or beneath the scrotum.
Signs and symptoms of hypospadias may include:
Most infants with hypospadias are diagnosed soon after birth while still in the hospital. However, slight displacement of the urethral opening may be subtle and more difficult to identify. Talk to your doctor if you have concerns about the appearance of your child's penis or if there are problems with urination.
Hypospadias is present at birth (congenital). As the penis develops in a male fetus, certain hormones stimulate the formation of the urethra and foreskin. Hypospadias results when a malfunction occurs in the action of these hormones, causing the urethra to develop abnormally.
In most cases, the exact cause of hypospadias is unknown. Sometimes, hypospadias is genetic, but environment also may play a role.
Although the cause of hypospadias is usually unknown, these factors may be associated with the condition:
If hypospadias is not treated, it can result in: